Vladimir Putin's visit to the Gulf: already a major PR operation

The Russian president visited Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, on Wednesday 6 December, and then headed to Saudi Arabia, where his arrival was confirmed in the early evening. The purpose of this short diplomatic trip: to discuss the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and oil. Vladimir Putin, whom the West has sought to isolate since his offensive in Ukraine, has for a time been rarer abroad, but he is making a comeback on the international scene. A comeback that obviously makes Russia jubilant.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and his United Arab Emirates counterpart Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, in Abu Dhabi, December 6, 2023. AFP - SERGEI SAVOSTYANOV

By: Anissa El Jabri Follow


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From our correspondent in Moscow,

Dozens of armed soldiers were waiting for him at the palace, Russian flags along the road, and even an air patrol from the United Arab Emirates spreading smoke bombs in the colors of the Russian flag in the sky.

It doesn't matter if, in reality, it's the treatment that is always reserved for visitors. Television in Moscow is heavily broadcasting images of a president who is presented as very well received, with one of the special envoys jubilant and exclaiming: "The whole world is watching the international isolation of Russia and its president at the moment.


For its part, the Ministry of Defense has released images of the fighter jets escorting the Russian president's flight, Sukhoi-25s. The diplomatic sequence has not yet concretely begun when it is being used to the full by the propaganda of Vladimir Putin, who should soon announce his candidacy for a 5th term.

For the rest, communicators continue to trivialize this event. The Kremlin's press service refers to the Emirates as Moscow's main economic partner in the Arab world, Saudi Arabia's next expected and important investment in Russia.

Read moreVladimir Putin visits the Gulf before receiving the Iranian president

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