The pageantry that greeted Russian President Vladimir Putin in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates reflects the “quantum leap” in relations since his last state visit.
Li-Chen Sim, an assistant professor at Zayed University (UAE), is an expert on contemporary Russian politics, in particular the impact of oil and nuclear energy on Russia’s foreign policy. Her concurrent area of research concerns the political economy of energy in the Gulf. Her latest co-edited book, External Powers and the Gulf Monarchies, was published by Routledge in August 2018.
The Gulf states have ceased to perceive Russia purely as an adversary; today Moscow is regarded as a reliable international partner but also a competitor.