The unlikely geopolitical winners of Russia’s war in Ukraine
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine more than eight months ago has killed tens of thousands of civilians, knocked out the country’s power grid, displaced millions and sent food and fuel prices skyrocketing.
But a small group of people found financial and geopolitical advantage in the ashes of massacres, sanctions and economic dislocation.
Beneficiaries are often not responsible for the violence; their gains are tied to geography, energy exports, or a unique diplomatic affiliation.
For others, the Russian attack was a chance to restore their political influence and actively reap economic benefits. As the war helped drive oil and natural gas prices to record highs, countries and companies in the energy sector were arguably among the biggest beneficiaries.
“Economies dependent on oil imports will see larger fiscal and trade deficits and increased inflationary pressures,” he said. Economists of the International Monetary Fund It noted earlier this year, “although some exporters such as the Middle East and Africa may benefit from higher prices.”
From Dubai’s marinas to Ankara’s diplomatic corridors and Saudi Arabia’s oil fields, these are the beneficiaries as the war drags on into winter and the death toll rises.
United Arab Emirates
The United Arab Emirates, with its luxury hotels, marinas and desert golf courses, has seen a surge in Russian tourism and investment since the February 24 invasion of Ukraine.
Oligarchs who once moored their yachts on Italy’s Amalfi Coast, partied at British nightclubs or bought tens of millions of dollars in homes in what critics call “Londongrad” have moved to the United Arab Emirates, which analysts and real estate brokers say faces Western sanctions.
Russians were the top buyers of property in Dubai, the top of the seven emirates that make up the United Arab Emirates, according to a report released last month by property consultancy Betterhomes.
“Global conflicts,” says the Betterhomes Report, “put Russians at the top of our rankings as the number one non-resident buyer in Dubai.”
With half of the city’s apartments dealing in all-cash transactions, Dubai offers the perfect laundering opportunity for wealthy buyers unable to access traditional banks due to Western sanctions, according to the consultancy.
While European and American airlines have suspended flights to Russia, Emirates, one of the main carriers of the United Arab Emirates, continues to operate 17 flights a week between Moscow and Dubai.
The United Arab Emirates, a major oil producer, also benefited from high energy prices due to the war. The financial system, seen by Western critics as a hub for money laundering, has allowed wealthy Russians to evade EU and US sanctions.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has positioned himself as a mediator between Vladimir Putin’s Russia and former NATO allies in the West, and reaped economic benefits from the process.
Turkey refused to impose sanctions on Russia to other members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. Instead, Ankara helped broker deals with Moscow to allow Ukraine to export its grain, potentially easing an ongoing food crisis for the world’s poorest.
Four million Russians vacationed in Turkey, a popular beach and sun spot for a long time, in the first nine months of this year. quoted data by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace – and this trend will intensify as Russian tourists lose access to European destinations.
As Moscow is cut off from its traditional suppliers in Europe, Turkey has also become an export and import channel for Russian trade.
On November 8, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace analyst Alexandra Prokopenko noted that “in the first nine months of this year, the trade turnover between Russia and Turkey doubled compared to the previous year and reached 47 billion dollars.”
“Turkey can become one of the first three trade partners of Russia.”
While Sweden and Finland are trying to join NATO in the face of Russia’s aggression, Turkey used its veto right on new members joining the security alliance and demanded Stockholm and Helsinki to take strict measures against Kurdish militants operating from areas that Ankara considers a security threat. .
The war in Ukraine has helped Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro restore ties with old enemies.
U.S. officials, considered an unelected usurper by Ottawa and Washington, who went so far as to recognize a rival politician as Venezuela’s rightful ruler, now appear intent on bringing Caracas back into their ranks.
According to the US Energy Information Administration, Venezuela controls the world’s largest oil reserves, and US energy companies and politicians are eager to restore its production to help lower global prices.
Caracas and Washington recently negotiated a high-profile prisoner swap, freeing seven Americans and two nephews of Maduro’s wife from US prisons on drug-trafficking charges.
The two sides have discussed sanctions relief and future ties as US oil companies, particularly Chevron, are eager to use more Venezuelan crude.
In the 2020 election campaign, Joe Biden vowed to make Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) an “enemy” after he was dismembered in an assassination attempt on journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who was assassinated on the young king’s orders. i saw
That tough talk, however, didn’t stop the US president from flying to Riyadh in July to pounce on MBS to ask him to increase oil production ahead of this month’s midterm elections.
Saudi Arabia, exercising its gasoline muscles, did the opposite. It prompted OPEC+, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, to cut production in October, according to US officials, leading to higher prices and a rapidly escalating financial crisis for the kingdom.
Compared to what would have been expected had Russia not invaded Ukraine, according to data released by the International Monetary Fund in August.
“Russia’s war in Ukraine, coupled with inflation in the country, has led to a sharp increase in energy prices, thus renewing attention on Saudi Arabia as one of the world’s major oil producers and the only country with significant potential. to rapidly increase production. ,” he noted Report of the Council on Foreign RelationsA US-based think tank.
Analysts say that Saudi Arabia has maintained cordial relations with Russia throughout the war in Ukraine.
High oil prices due to the war, as well as a poor human rights record and contribution to climate change, have allowed Washington to increase pressure to take the kingdom seriously.