A concerning recent article by Business Insider delves into Russia's economic landscape, highlighting how economic shifts driven by President Vladimir Putin are leading to significant capital flowing into the UAE. With Russia cut off from many foreign reserves and crippling its energy trade to the western world, the UAE has seen an opportunity to snap up many of the opportunities missed by Russian investments and Russian oil.

Russia has taken an interest in the UAE's economic surge by investing Russian funds in the United Arab Emirates' real estate market. This reveals a strategic move to diversify its assets amid geopolitical uncertainties and find some way to still benefit from western energy needs despite sanctions.

Even more troublingly, ImportGenius data showed that the UAE bought large quantities of both Russian gold and Russian crude oil, reaching a record 60 million barrels of Russian oil last year and $4 billion in Russian gold from only $61 million in 2021.

The importance of trade data in geopolitics is evident in how the UAE's success may be undermining Russian sanctions. This move can be interpreted as an economic hedge and potentially a diplomatic leverage point. By capitalizing on the UAE's prominence as a global business hub, Russia may aim to cultivate economic ties that could ensure it can continue to pressure the Ukraine despite sanctions. Trade data thus acts as a compass, guiding policymakers towards opportunities for constructive engagement to ensure that the purpose of sanctions are maintained and that third parties like the UAE are not able to undermine them, whether that be willfully or unwittingly.

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