On Thursday, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen met with the leader of the United Arab Emirates for talks to discuss, among other things, the export of sanctioned goods from the Persian Gulf states to Russia.
Source: European Pravda; Bloomberg
Details: Bloomberg cited von der Leyen who called her talks with UAE President Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed in Abu Dhabi "excellent".
The European Commission President was expected to urge the UAE leader to stop being a gateway for Russia to get around EU sanctions.
The UAE has become a key destination for Russian tourists, businessmen and those fleeing their country after the beginning of Russia's invasion of Ukraine last February. Russian investment in the property markets of Dubai and Abu Dhabi has grown rapidly.
It is also one of several countries that have seen a sharp rise in technology imports over the past 18 months, particularly semiconductors and advanced electronics from Europe and the US. Ukraine's allies have banned the export of many of these goods to Russia because they are used for military purposes.
Von der Leyen intended to ask Sheikh Mohammed to be more constructive in resolving the issue, the agency's sources said.
The EU would like the UAE to commit to sharing more trade data as a first step, the sources added.
From February 2022 to June 2023, the European Union exported $1.8 billion worth of sanctioned military goods to the UAE. Exports of semiconductors, radio navigation devices, and other goods needed by Russia to produce missiles, drones, and other weapons systems increased by 55%.
According to sources, the EU is also interested in ensuring that the UAE is not used as a channel through which banned Russian goods enter Europe.
The EU has already imposed sanctions on several organisations registered in the UAE, accusing them of directly supporting the Russian defence industry.
Earlier, The Wall Street Journal reported that the United States, the United Kingdom, and the European Union planned to jointly press the United Arab Emirates this week to stop supplying Russia with goods that help it wage war against Ukraine.
It has also been reported that virtually all sanctioned goods worth hundreds of billions of dollars are continuing to enter the Russian Federation.