The UAE is on team Russia in war against Ukraine

The UAE is on team Russia in war against Ukraine

The United Arab Emirates helps secure key transactions for the Russian offensive against Ukraine, while Dubai has become a haven for oligarchs targeted by Western sanctions.

On February 25, 2022, the day after Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine, the United Nations (UN) Security Council voted on a Western draft resolution calling for the “immediate withdrawal” of Russian troops. Eleven members of the Council approved the document, which was rejected because Russia predictably vetoed it. Surprisingly, however, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), along with China and India, abstained from the vote.

Five days later, undoubtedly due to American pressure, the UAE voted at the UN General Assembly for a resolution “demanding that Russia immediately cease the use of force against Ukraine.” But UAE President Mohammed bin Zayed (MBZ) did not alter his supposedly “neutral” stance in the Ukrainian crisis. In actual fact, his country now enables key financial transactions in support of the Russian military campaign, all the while becoming a coveted haven for oligarchs who find themselves targeted by Western sanctions.

Any lingering doubts about the UAE’s “neutrality” were dispelled in February, during the IDEX international arms fair held in the capital, Abu Dhabi, on the first anniversary of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Indeed, the Kremlin used the venue to exhibit armored vehicles, combat helicopters and anti-aircraft missiles, all combat-tested in Ukraine and intended for export. Russian Deputy Prime Minister Denis Manturov, who opened his country’s pavilion, welcomed the fact that the UAE has become Russia’s chief partner in the Arab world, with “trade up 68% in 2022.” At the same time, the UAE Central Bank granted a now-revoked license to the Russian.

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