Thursday, June 20, 2024

Western officials in UAE amid concerns over supply of technology to Russia

Representatives from the United States, the United Kingdom and the European Union have landed in the United Arab Emirates to discuss the implementation of sanctions on Russia as part of broader efforts with a range of “partner” countries, a US embassy spokesperson told CNN on Thursday.

It comes as concerns mount over goods being exported to Russia that could potentially be used in Moscow’s war on Ukraine.

The Wall Street Journal, which first reported the visit, said that the discussions are happening as part of “a collective global push to keep computer chips, electronic components and other so-called dual-use products, which have both civilian and military applications, out of Russian hands.”

“The UAE is working with its friends and allies to address any concerns with regards to sanctions on Russia,” a senior UAE official told CNN when asked about the matter.

Russia is under a barrage of sanctions from the US and other Western nations following its full-scale invasion of Ukraine last year. But most of these are primary sanctions, which can only be enforced within the territory of the sanctioning country.

Western officials have visited the UAE several times over the past two years to warn the regional business hub that helping Moscow evade sanctions wouldn’t be without consequences.

The US has previously sanctioned entities and individuals in the UAE for sanctions evasion, including two UAE-based air transportation firms for collaborating with a sanctioned Iranian firm to transport Iranian unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), personnel, and related equipment from Iran to Russia.

The Persian Gulf state has walked a tightrope between Washington and Moscow since the start of the war in February 2022, opting to remain neutral as it sees the world order moving toward multipolarity. It has condemned Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, but has also expanded economic ties with Moscow.

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