British Trade Secretary calls on more countries to punish Russia

British Trade Secretary calls on more countries to punish Russia
British Trade Secretary calls on more countries to punish Russia

From Alexander Cornwell

DUBAI (Reuters) – Britain’s Secretary of State for International Trade Annemarie Trevelyan urged more countries on Thursday to punish Russia for its war in Ukraine during an interview in the United Arab Emirates, which, like other Gulf states, has so far resisted Western pressure to side.

Trevelyan told Reuters that the invasion of Ukraine “was a hideous, unjustified and illegal war.”

“We urge all countries to stand by us in making this fully clear and to impose sanctions and restrictions on those who chose to support (Russian President Vladimir) Putin,” she added.

Dubai, the financial center of the UAE, emerged as a safe haven for the Russian wealth that moved to the city after Western sanctions targeted Putin’s allies and dealt a blow to the Russian economy.

Sources said that wealthy people from Russia moved to the country, set up businesses and bought luxury homes.

The US Commerce Department said a Boeing 787 Dreamliner owned by Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich arrived in Dubai in March. A US court ruled her detention.

Two diplomatic sources said that Emirati officials, in private conversations, tried to reassure their foreign counterparts by saying that Russians under sanctions would not be able to do business in the UAE.

The minister responded to a question about whether Britain suspected that the Russians were using the UAE to circumvent the sanctions, saying that the imposition of sanctions was a sovereign decision, without answering whether there was discomfort about that.

Trevelyan is on a two-day visit to the region, during which she began negotiations for free trade with the Gulf Cooperation Council countries.

She said an agreement could be reached within 12 to 24 months with the Gulf Cooperation Council, Britain’s seventh largest export market and which has not signed any free trade agreement in more than a decade.

“We want to do something that we can all manage and move forward with,” she added.

The article is in Arabic

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