Putin to mull energy issues, arms trade, security with UAE military official

President Vladimir Putin will meet on Wednesday with the crown prince of Abu Dhabi, Lt. Gen. Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, deputy supreme commander of the armed forces of the United Arab Emirates.

"The entire range of cooperation between Russia and the UAE is to be mulled, including issues pertaining to investment, energy and arms trade constituting priority trade and economic spheres. Problems in maintaining regional stability and security are also expected to be discussed," the Kremlin press service said in a statement.

It will be the second meeting of the two senior officials; the first one took place in Moscow in June 2009.

Building up trade and economic ties is expected to become one of the central subjects of the conversation. In 2011, bilateral trade turnover totaled $1.5 billion and in the first six months of this year exceed $1 billion (growth of over 40 percent).

Mutual investment is a promising sphere. In 2011, the Emirates invested $253.8 million rubles in the Russian economy, and Russia $187.1 million in the UAE.

Special attention is expected to be paid to promoting energy cooperation. There are noticeable successes in the sphere: in April 2011 Stroytransgaz completed the construction of the longest gas pipeline in UAE Taweelah-Fujairah (244 kilometers).

Issues of humanitarian cooperation are expected to be raised during the conversation. The flow of Russian tourists to the UAE may grow over 50% this year compared to 2011 exceeding 600,000 people.

At the talks the sides are expected to exchange opinions about the most pressing items on the international agenda. They will focus on the developments in the Middle East and the situation in Syria.

The approaches of Russia and UAE to the settlement of the Syrian crisis are close and rely on a common understanding of the need to stop the conflict by peaceful means with due respect for the sovereignty and independence of Syria, the Kremlin press service noted.

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