To avoid Western sanctions over the invasion of Ukraine, Russian oligarchs and officials are moving assets from Europe to Dubai.
Relations between the UAE and Russia are said to be improving, despite the fact that the UAE Central Bank has yet to issue any guidance on Western sanctions.
According to a senior banker at a Swiss private bank, affluent Russians are attempting to move funds out of Switzerland and London, and Russian clients have opened accounts with the bank's UAE branch.
According to Reuters, a Dubai-based lawyer said that Russian clients had inquired about the speed with which they could transfer "significant funds" to the Gulf Arab state.
On Friday, a US State Department official warned Israeli officials against accepting "dirty money" from Russia and urged them to support Western sanctions against Russia for its invasion of Ukraine.
Israel has avoided sanctions and criticism of Russia and its President Vladimir Putin in order to maintain a balance with Kyiv and Moscow.
Since the invasion of Ukraine, heavy sanctions have hampered Russia's economy, its oligarchs, and some of its officials.
"You don’t want to become the last haven for dirty money that’s fuelling Putin’s wars," said Victoria Nuland, the US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs.
"What’s most important from our point of view right now is [for Israel] to join the financial sanctions," she added.
According to the Times of Israel, several privately chartered jets have flown from Russia to Israel since the invasion of Ukraine, possibly to avoid sanctions imposed by wealthy Russians. The Russian assault on its neighbor has sparked a humanitarian crisis, putting pressure on Israel's efforts to maintain its neutrality.
By fLEXI tEAM