President Vladimir Putin has hosted the crown prince of Abu Dhabi for talks which were to focus on the Syrian crisis.

Welcoming Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan at the start of Thursday's Kremlin meeting, Putin hailed ties with the United Arab Emirates, adding that Moscow was willing to expand them.

The crown prince noted that Moscow plays an important role in the Middle East and voiced hope that cooperation between the UAE and Russia could help stabilize the region.

His visit follows Saturday's crash of a FlyDubai plane that went down while landing in strong winds in Rostov-on-Don in southern Russia, killing all 62 people on board, most of whom were Russian holiday-makers. The Kremlin said cooperation in the crash probe was to be part of the talks' agenda.