The Facts

  • Russian Pres. Vladimir Putin hailed his country's relationship with the United Arab Emirates during a meeting with Pres. Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan (MBZ) on Tuesday, calling it "an important factor of stability" in the region and the world.

  • During his reception in St. Petersburg, MBZ highlighted the importance of finding political solutions to crises, adding a call to resolve the Ukraine crisis through dialogue, negotiation, and diplomacy.

The Spin

Pro-establishment narrative

Since Putin first invaded Ukraine, the US and EU have warned the UAE about the consequences of siding with Russia. With Russian oligarchs fleeing to do business in the UAE to avoid Western sanctions, the inevitable consequences for MBZ will be his country ultimately ending up on the same blacklist as Putin's.

Establishment-critical narrative

Dialogue and diplomatic mechanisms are the only viable route to international peace and security. By remaining neutral, the UAE is in a unique position to potentially negotiate an end to the war with Russia. Luckily, MBZ remains unfazed by the political pressure placed on it by the US and other Western nations since the war began.

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