Russian President Vladimir Putin’s cortege was escorted from the Abu Dhabi International Airport to the Qasr Al-Watan Presidential Palace by a royal horse guard on Tuesday, as Putin began his first visit to the UAE since 2007.

The Russian leader’s armoured Aurus limousine was greeted by horse-mounted guards, an artillery salute and a squadron of UAE fighter jets, which painted the sky with Russia’s national colours as Putin arrived at the presidential palace.

At the palace the Russian leader was greeted by the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan.

The two leaders listened to the anthems of Russia and the UAE performed by a military band, after which they headed for negotiations.

Putin and Sheikh Mohammed are expected to discuss prospects of cooperation between the two countries, in addition to signing of bilateral trade agreements.

On Monday Putin visited Saudi Arabia, where he met with King Salman bin Abdul Aziz and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in the capital Riyadh.

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