Bullion sales to the Arab nation boomed in 2022 due to Western sanctions
© Sputnik / Ilya Naimushin
The UAE has been snapping up Russian gold at an unprecedented pace since Western countries banned imports, Bloomberg reported on Wednesday, citing the UN’s Comtrade database.
Statistics showed that the Gulf state imported 96.4 tons of gold from Russia in 2022, becoming its largest buyer. The volume represented about a third of Russia’s total annual gold production. It was also a more than fifteenfold year-on-year increase in the Arab nation’s gold imports from Russia.
Bloomberg noted that prior to the start of Russia’s military operation in Ukraine, the UK had been the top destination for Russian gold. However, the London market has been closed to Russian bullion ever since the G7, EU, and Switzerland banned imports of the precious metal last summer as part of Ukraine-related sanctions against Moscow.
Despite historically strong ties with Western countries, the UAE refrained from joining their sanctions war against Russia. Instead, Abu Dhabi is actively broadening economic cooperation with Moscow, with trade turnover reportedly hitting all-time highs last year.
In addition to the UAE, China and Türkiye have also stepped up purchases of Russian gold over the past 18 months. According to a recent Reuters report citing customs records, the three countries accounted for 99.8% of Russian bullion exports between February 24, 2022 and March 3, 2023.
West to pressure UAE over Russia ties – WSJ
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov said last month that the UAE is on course to become one of Russia’s top-20 economic partners due to the rapid growth of trade and cooperation.
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