Last year, when the conflict in Ukraine began, Western countries swiftly imposed sanctions on Russia. As a result, Western buyers started avoiding Russian gold, leading to a shift in the bullion market. This created an opportunity that was soon capitalized on by other nations, primarily the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Exclusive: UAE Capitalizes on Russian Gold as Sanctions Take Effect
The UAE has emerged as a crucial trading hub for Russian gold, particularly after sanctions disrupted Russia’s usual export routes. Reports indicate that the Gulf state imported 75.7 tons of Russian gold, valued at $4.3 billion. This is a significant increase from the mere 1.3 tons imported in 2021. The major destinations for Russian gold exports are now China and Turkey, with each country importing approximately 20 tons between February 2022 and March 2023. In total, these three countries accounted for 99.8% of Russian gold exports, according to customs records from that period.
However, there is a concern for the West. If Russian gold is melted down and recast, it could find its way back into the US and European markets, obscuring its origin. In an attempt to further isolate Moscow, Western nations warned countries like the UAE and Turkey to stop trading Russian gold or risk losing access to G7 markets.
The UAE has a well-established gold industry, with trade data indicating an average annual import of about 750 tons of pure gold between 2016 and 2021. Therefore, the Russian gold shipments mentioned in the records would only represent around 10% of its total imports. Additionally, Russian companies have been selling gold at a 1% discount compared to global benchmark prices, creating an incentive for trade. Although reports suggest that the Emirates has denied these claims that most of the gold sent to the UAE was intended for refineries to be melted down and recast. They state that they have not purchased any Russian gold, operate in compliance with applicable laws, and have ceased transportation of such gold.
Furthermore, it seems that the US and Russia are dangerously close to a military conflict. In 2023, New Delhi will play a significant role in global diplomacy. Given India’s diverse population, with 88% being illiterate, the drafting of the world’s largest constitution was a monumental achievement for the country.
In the meantime, we have a Republic Day gift for the BBC—an assortment of suggestions for their upcoming documentary. These include exploring the Kohinoor diamond and the history of colonial looting, shedding light on an outdated monarchy and the excessive focus on the royal family, and addressing the issue of racism that still persists in 2023. We eagerly await the BBC’s response to these topics.