Putin Trots Around Middle East, All Smiles With MbS, While US Can't Secure Ukraine Funding

Tyler Durden's Photo
by Tyler Durden
Wednesday, Dec 06, 2023 - 11:00 PM

It was no mere awkward fist bump, but instead Russian President Vladimir Putin's reception in Riyadh Wednesday was clearly very warm and enthusiastic.

From the moment Putin walked out onto a royal purple carpet-bedecked airport tarmac to later being officially greeted by crown prince Mohammed bin Salman (MbS), it was chummy handshakes, back slaps and smiles all the way around

Mohammed bin Salman welcomes Vladimir Putin to Riyadh on Wednesday, AFP via Getty Images

"Nothing can prevent the development of our friendly relations," Putin told MbS, and invited him to visit Moscow in return.

"It is very important for all of us to exchange information and assessments with you on what is happening in the region. Our meeting is certainly timely," Putin said.

Below is the moment of Putin's being received and welcomed by a glowing MbS, ironically at the very moment President Biden gave a White House speech bemoaning the inability of Congress to pass Ukraine defense funding, which runs out in three weeks...

As Deutsche Welle reviews, the discussions likely centered on the planned OPEC+ output cuts and the Gaza War and regional crisis in the wake of the Oct.7 Hamas attack:

The Kremlin said talks in Saudi Arabia would involve discussions on energy cooperation, including as part of OPEC+, whose members pump more than 40% of the world's oil.

Other items on the agenda include Israel's war against Hamas in Gaza, the situation in Syria and Yemen, and broader issues of stability in the Gulf, as well as the war in Ukraine, the Kremlin said.

Prior to his arrival in Saudi Arabia, Putin's visit to neighboring UAE also had much fanfare. This is a man still under a Hague-based ICC warrant — but you would never guess it based on the below impressive state reception...

He had met with the President of the United Arab Emirates Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyanwith the Israel-Hamas war high on the agenda. Of course, neither Gulf leaders have signed the founding ICC treaty, and their warm embrace of Putin is sure to greatly annoy Washington and European leaders.

Meanwhile, to make matters worse from the West's perspective and its apparently failed and blunted sanctions on Moscow...

Was Wednesday's very brief Middle East tour by Putin for the purpose of doing a victory lap? Biden might be able to console himself with the current state of cheaper oil markets for the time being, but one wonders how long that will last.