Diplomatic relations between Russia (then the USSR) and the United Arab Emirates began almost immediately after the announcement of the establishment of the UAE in December 1971. In January 1972, a delegation from the USSR visited the Emirates. During the visit it was agreed to establish diplomatic missions of two countries at ambassador level. However, these agreements were not implemented until November 1985, when Moscow and Abu Dhabi announced the establishment of bilateral relations at the level of the embassies. A diplomatic mission of the USSR was opened in March 1986. A year after (in April 1987) the UAE Embassy was opened in Moscow. Undoubtedly, opening of diplomatic missions gave a huge impetus to the development of wide range of bilateral relations, particularly in the field of economy. So, in April 1988, within an economic cooperation, Moscow received a loan from the United Arab Emirates in the amount of 50 million USD. In December 1989, a delegation of the Russian Foreign Bank visited Abu Dhabi to discuss additional borrowing opportunities and participation of the UAE financial institutions in issuing of the USSR financial credit instruments. An Air Transport Agreement was signed between two countries in 1987. It is noteworthy that the Aeroflot’s office operated in Abu Dhabi since 1979. In 1988, the number of Soviet sea carriers signed agreements with the UAE company Sharaf Shipping. In January 1990 it was signed in Moscow an Agreement on Trade, Economic and Industrial Cooperation between two countries.
After dissolution of the USSR, despite the difficult situation of Russia in its 90s of the past century, the good relations between two countries were not interrupted. Bilateral relations have continued to develop gradually until the end of the first decade of this century. Then the relationship began to develop rapidly. There were series of meetings at the level of Foreign Ministers, including working visits of His Excellency Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergei Lavrov to Abu Dhabi in 2011 and 2016, as well as numerous visits to Moscow of His Highness Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the United Arab Emirates, co-chairman of Intergovernmental Russian-UAE Commission on Trade, Economic and Technical Cooperation (in 2012, 2014, 2015, February 2016). Last visit of His Highness to Moscow was in November 2016 during the meeting of Intergovernmental Commission.
In May 2016, His Excellency Dr. Anwar Gargash, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, participated in the 4th meeting of the Dialogue between Russia and the GCC (Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf), to be held in Moscow.
In recent years the visits of various delegations have become very often. The UAE visited the head of Russian Security Council Nikolai Patrushev, chief prosecutor Yuri Chaika, the head of the Russian Federal Service for Illegal Drug Trafficking Supervision Viktor Ivanov. There were visits of ministers of finance, agriculture, communications, culture, leadership of the Russian Space Agency, Federal Service for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Surveillance (Rosselkhoznadzor), as well as of the Minister of Trade and Industry of the Russian Federation, co-chairman of Intergovernmental Commission Denis Manturov, whose recent visit took place in April 2016. Russia repeatedly visited His Excellency Suhail Al-Mazrui, Minister of Energy, His Excellency Sultan Al Mansouri, Minister of Economy, as well as a number of officials from different sectors, particularly from investment, including representatives of Mubadala Fund. His Excellency Khaldoon Khalifa Al Muburak, Executive Director of Mubadala, participated in St. Petersburg Economic Forum in 2016.
Within parliamentary cooperation, the delegation from the International Committee of State Duma visited the United Arab Emirates in 2001. Chairman of the Federation Council Sergei Mironov visited the UAE in 2004.
A year 2016 was full with visits. So, in February, a delegation of the Federation Council, headed by Vice-Chairperson of the Council Ilyas Umakhanov, visited the United Arab Emirates. In April, Chairperson of the Federation Council Her Excellency Valentina Matvienko came down on official visit to the UAE. By the UAE officials Her Excellency Dr. Amal Al Qubaisi, Chairman of the Federal National Council, visited Moscow and St. Petersburg.
Both countries are making efforts to develop relations within economic cooperation. The volume of UAE investments in Russia reached 20 billion USD. The volume of trade turnover 2.5 billion USD reached its peak in 2013. Despite the relative reduction in the volume of trade in recent years to 1.2 billion USD, due to economic difficulties, decline in local currency, economic performances and common intention to increase trade volume, are pointing at the possibility of rapid and constant increase in the volume of trade in the future.