President Vladimir Putin plans to visit the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia this week, Russian media reported on Monday.
Putin will travel to the two nations for a working visit, during which he will meet with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Russian news agencies Tass and Ria Novosti reported, citing the Telegram channel Shot and the site as sources. Russian news website Life.
The Russian president will visit Saudi Arabia, where his “negotiations will be mainly with the crown prince,” shortly after traveling to the UAE, said presidential adviser Yuri Ushakov, according to Shot.
The UAE is currently hosting the UN climate conference, but it is unclear whether Putin will attend the event.
“I hope they will be very useful negotiations, which we consider extremely important,” Ushakov told Life. Apparently neither of the two state news agencies could independently confirm the reports.
Putin would make the visit at a time when Russia wants to boost its role as an influential power in the Middle East conflict and challenge Western narratives about the war in Ukraine.
Putin currently risks arrest if he leaves Russia after the International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant against him for war crimes in March, accusing him of personal responsibility for the kidnappings of Ukrainian children.
Since the arrest warrant was issued, Putin decided not to attend the BRICS summit in South Africa because the nation would be obliged to arrest him upon his arrival, as it is a signatory to the international court treaty.
Since neither Saudi Arabia nor the UAE have signed the treaty establishing the ICC, neither country would be obliged to stop it.
The notification against Putin in March represented the first time that the international court issued an arrest warrant against the leader of one of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council. The ICC said in a statement that Putin is accused of the war crime of “illegal deportation” of children from occupied areas of Ukraine to Russia.