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Western allies to warn UAE over trade with Russia: Report

Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) shakes hands with his Emirati counterpart, Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, on the sidelines of the Saint Petersburg International Economic Forum, in Russia, June 16, 2023. (Photo by AFP)

Officials from the US, Britain and the EU are reportedly expected to warn the United Arab Emirates against the export of dual-use products to Russia as the Ukraine war rages.

The Wall Street Journal reported on Monday that the Western officials will this week visit the UAE, where they will raise concerns about the trade of items like computer chips and electronic devices with Russia.

The report said the Western officials are worried about the increasing transit of goods from the West to Russia via the UAE.

One of the key concerns, it added, is the re-export of dual-use technologies like semiconductors and integrated circuits, which have both civilian and military applications

Asked for comment, a UAE official said the country “is continuously monitoring the export of dual-use products” under its export control legal framework.

The US banned the export of sensitive technologies to Russia after its military operation in Ukraine in February 2022.

American officials, however, say the UAE continued to send US-export controlled goods, including “semiconductor devices, some of which can be used on the battlefield” to Moscow.

The Washington-based Free Russia Foundation lists the UAE, along with Turkey, Cyprus and China, as the countries that have “dramatically expanded” exports to Russia.

UAE Trade Minister Thani bin Ahmed al-Zeyoudi vowed last December to push commercial ties with Moscow “to even greater heights”.

The UAE exported approximately $144 million worth of critical components for Russian Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) in the first five months of 2023, the Ukraine-based Kyiv School of Economics said.

In February, Russia’s Industry and Trade Minister Denis Manturov said bilateral trade with the UAE had increased 68 percent year-over-year to $9 billion in 2022.

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