MOSCOW // Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, was in Moscow on Thursday to chair the sixth UAE-Russia joint meeting as the two countries sought to strengthen economic, trade and investment cooperation.
Russian minister of industry and trade, Denis Valentinovich Manturov, hosted the meeting which Sheikh Abdullah said was “a major step to further strengthen the strategic bilateral relations” with Russia. The last joint meeting was held in the UAE in November last year.
Initial statistics showing a 16.6 per cent surge in the volume of non-oil trade exchange over the first eight months of this year “[do not] reflect the growth of advanced bilateral relations between the two friendly countries”, Sheikh Abdullah said.
This figure was still too low to compensate for the drastic fall in the non-oil trade exchange between the two countries in 2014 and 2015, he said, urging both sides to find ways of developing ties in the private sector.
There are about 300 Russian companies currently operating in the UAE. Sheikh Abdullah welcomed more Russian investments in the UAE.
“The UAE and Russia enjoy special historic diplomatic relations,” he said.
“We mark today the 45th anniversary of these relations, which are characterised with friendship and stability based on mutual understanding and respect.”
“These relations grew and were crowned with the high-profile visits of officials of both countries as well as the signing of a number of agreements,” he added.
In March, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, met Russian president Vladimir Putin in Moscow, while Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov visited the UAE in February this year.
* With reporting by Wam