UAE banks restrict transactions with Russia amid sanctions risk

United Arab Emirates banks have restricted transactions with Russia and begun closing both corporate and personal accounts due to the risk of secondary sanctions, reports the Russian news outlet Vedomosti, citing Russian businessmen active in the UAE and representatives from the 'Business Russia' association.

Tax and legal consultants have confirmed this trend, the Russian government is reportedly aware of it, although the Russian officials consider it minor and solvable.

"At the moment, UAE banks are not accepting money from Russia and are not processing payments in the reverse direction," a Business Russia representative told the publication.

UAE banks continue to close accounts belonging to companies with Russian citizens as owners, "including for opaque reasons."

Sources informed the publication that it remains possible to open an account in UAE banks for Russian individuals or entities, but the process has become lengthier, often expedited by personal connections with representatives of local elites.

Vedomosti notes that the UAE banks' restrictions for Russian clients were implemented before the United States announced secondary sanctions in December 2023. The newspaper's sources suggest this could be related to the significant proportion of foreign shareholders in major credit institutions.

  UAE, Russia