Russian President Vladimir Putin is expected to visit the UAE and Saudi Arabia this week, according to reports.

The president’s first stop will be the UAE, followed by Saudi Arabia, where he will meet with the kingdom’s Crown Prince Mohmmed bin Salman, news agency RIA Novosti reported, quoting Putin’s aide, Yuriy Ushakov.

Putin will hold “extremely important” talks in both countries, Ushakov said.

“This will be a working visit - negotiations - first of all, with the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia. Before that, we will fly to the Emirates. There will also be a working visit there, which I hope will be very useful,” Ushakov said.

“We consider [these negotiations] extremely important,” he said, without sharing details about the topics to be discussed.

The announcement came on the heels of the decision of OPEC+ states to lower oil production by a total of 2.2 million barrels per day in the first three months of 2024.

The world’s biggest oil exporter, Saudi Arabia, will cut production by 1 million barrels per day, while Russia will reduce output by 500,000.

The UAE is expected to bring down its output by 163,000; Iraq by 223,000; Kazakhstan by 82,000; Algeria by 51,000 and Oman by 42,000.

(Writing by Cleofe Maceda; editing by Brinda Darasha)