Russian President Vladimir Putin received a delegation of senior officials from Abu Dhabi (UAE) on Thursday. The day before, the emirate concluded one of the world's biggest deals of up to $5 billion for infrastructure investments with the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF). It is the biggest investment in an infrastructure consortium in the world.
Kommersant notes that the UAE delegation was headed by Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Abu Dhabi's Crown Prince and Deputy Supreme Commander in Chief of the UAE armed forces. Putin welcomed signing of the memorandum on investment cooperation between the RDIF and the Abu Dhabi Finance Department.
Kommersant believes the deal has a foreign policy aspect. Investments of the UAE and other countries of the Gulf through the RDIF, along with other objectives, are obviously intended to stabilize the Russian foreign policy position on key issues of the region, including the Syrian stiuation. Potential joint investments of the RDIF and Arab countries already amount to several billion dollars. Given the special position of Gulf countries on key Mideast conflicts, apparently investors from Kuwait, the UAE and Saudi Arabia (some sovereign funds of Ar Riyadh are invested through UAE structures) are also aimed at stabilizing Russian foreign policy on the issues.
RDIF Director-General Kirill Dmitriyev, cited by Nezavisimaya Gazeta, pays attention to the fact that the sum of five billion dollars allocated by the Abu Dhabi Finance Department is the largest investment in an infrastructure consortium in the world. "The largest investment from Arab countries in Russia. Indeed, it is a very significant and important step," Dmitriyev said.
"Together with the Abu Dhabi fund, we will invest in infrastructure projects, such as roads, ports, telecommunication infrastructure -- practically everything connected with Russia's development in the infrastructure aspect. We also plan, for example, to invest in the Central Ring Road," he noted.