(MENAFN) Amid the Ukraine-related sanctions imposed by Western governments on Russia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has emerged as a prominent destination for Russian gold, with significant imports recorded since the closure of Western markets. As reported by Reuters, citing customs records, the Gulf state witnessed a remarkable surge in Russian gold imports, reaching 75.7 tons valued at USD4.3 billion between February 24, 2022, and March 3, 2023. This figure represents a substantial increase compared to a mere 1.3 tons imported in 2021.
The data further reveals that China and Turkey emerged as the next significant destinations for Russian gold, with each country importing approximately 20 tons during the aforementioned period. Collectively, the UAE, China, and Turkey accounted for nearly 99.8 percent of Russian gold exports, underscoring their prominence in the global gold trade, according to Reuters' analysis of customs data.
Last summer, the Group of Seven (G7), the European Union (EU), and Switzerland implemented a ban on Russian gold imports, with the aim of affecting Russia's sizable USD20 billion gold industry. This move resulted in the closure of London, previously the top destination for Russian gold. While Western sanctions have effectively restricted Russian gold from their markets and prohibited merchants from engaging in gold trade with Russia, companies in other countries face no such restrictions and can freely engage in precious metal transactions as secondary sanctions do not apply.
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