NOVO-OGARYOVO, September 12 (RIA Novosti) – Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday welcomed a joint venture with the United Arab Emirates that will invest up to $5 billion in infrastructure projects in Russia, and he pledged his support.
At a meeting in the Kremlin with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, deputy commander-in-chief of the UAE’s armed forces, Putin praised the deal, signed between the Russian Direct Investment Fund and the Abu Dhabi Department of Finance, as creating “great opportunities in the sphere of investment collaboration.”
The UAE is one of Russia’s leading economic partners in the Middle East, but the volume of bilateral trade is so far a “modest” $1.5 billion, Putin said, adding that there was a good outlook for growth.
The crown prince thanked Putin and said the UAE had complete “trust in the Russian market.”
Kirill Dmitriyev, head of the Direct Investment Fund, a state-backed equity fund, said $5 billion is the largest investment in an infrastructure consortium in the world.
The joint venture, to serve as an investment vehicle, will invest in “virtually everything related to Russia’s infrastructural development” – roads, ports and telecommunications infrastructure, Dmitriyev said.
In June, the Russian Direct Investment Fund and the UAE wealth fund Mubadala established a $2 billion joint investment fund.
That fund will focus on long-term investment opportunities across a range of industry sectors, “acting as a catalyst for direct investment in Russia,” Mubadala, which reportedly controls a $5 billion investment portfolio, said at the time.