An unlikely geopolitical winner of Russia's war in Ukraine

Russia's invasion of Ukraine more than eight months ago has killed tens of thousands of civilians, destroyed the country's power grid, displaced millions and exacerbated rising food and fuel prices.

But a small group of countries have found financial and geopolitical gains in the ashes of massacre, sanctions and economic dislocation.

Beneficiaries are, in most cases, not responsible for the violence; their advantages relate to geography, energy exports or unique diplomatic encounters.

For others, Russia's onslaught has been an opportunity to reassert their political influence and actively reap economic benefits. Countries and companies in the energy business are arguably among the biggest beneficiaries, as the war has helped push oil and natural gas prices to near record highs.

“Economics that rely on oil imports will see wider fiscal and trade deficits and more inflationary pressures,” International Monetary Fund economists said earlier this year, “though some exporters such as those in the Middle East and Africa may benefit from higher prices. ."

From Dubai's cruise ship marinas to diplomatic corridors in Ankara and Saudi Arabia's oil fields, these are some of the beneficiaries as the war continues into winter and the death toll rises.

United Arab Emirates

With luxury hotels, marinas and desert golf courses, the United Arab Emirates has experienced a major surge in Russian tourism and investment since the invasion of Ukraine began on February 24.

Oligarchs who once moored their yachts off Italy's Amalfi Coast, partied in British nightclubs or bought tens of millions of dollars' worth of homes in what critics have dubbed "Londongrad" have moved to the U.A.E. in the face of Western sanctions, according to analysts and property brokers.

Russia has become the top property buyer in Dubai, the most famous of the seven Emirates comprising the U.A.E., according to a report released last month from property consultancy Betterhomes.

"Global conflict," says the Betterhomes report, "has put Russia at the top of our leaderboard as Dubai's number one non-resident buyer."

With half of the city's apartments changing hands in cash transactions, the consultant found, Dubai offers the perfect laundering opportunity for wealthy shoppers frozen from traditional banks by Western sanctions.

As European and US airlines suspended services to Russia, Emirates, one of the main U.A.E. carriers, continued to operate 17 weekly flights between Moscow and Dubai.

The U.A.E., a major oil producer, has also benefited from rising energy prices from the war. And its financial system, seen by Western critics as a major center for money laundering, has allowed Russia's wealthy to bypass European and US sanctions.


Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has positioned himself as a mediator between Vladimir Putin's Russia and previous NATO allies in the West, reaping economic rewards in the process.

Turkey has refused to join other members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in sanctioning Russia. Instead, Ankara helped broker a deal with Moscow to allow Ukraine to export its grain, potentially easing the ongoing food crisis for the world's poorest people.

Long a popular sand and sun destination, four million Russians vacationed in Turkey in the first nine months of the year, according to data cited by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace – and the trend is expected to increase as Russian tourists lose access to European destinations. .

Turkey has also become an export and import conduit for Russian trade, as Moscow is cut off from its traditional suppliers in Europe.

“Trade turnover between Russia and Turkey doubled in the first nine months of this year from a year earlier to reach $47 billion,” Alexandra Prokopenko, an analyst with the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, noted on Nov. 8.

Turkey may have become one of Russia's three main trading partners."

With Sweden and Finland wanting to join NATO in light of the Russian aggression, Turkey has exercised its veto power on new members joining the security alliance, demanding that Stockholm and Helsinki crack down on Kurdish activists operating from their territory that Ankara considers a security threat.


The war in Ukraine has helped Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro revive ties with an old foe.

Considered an unelected usurper by Ottawa and Washington, which have so far recognized rival politicians as Venezuela's legitimate leader, US officials now appear eager to bring Caracas back to their feet.

Venezuela controls the world's largest oil reserves, according to the US Energy Information Administration, and American energy companies and policymakers want to rebuild production to help lower world prices.

Caracas and Washington recently negotiated a high-profile prisoner swap, releasing seven Americans and two nephews of Maduro's wife who have been jailed in the US on drug charges.

With US oil companies, Chevron in particular, looking to start tapping more of Venezuelan crude, the two sides have discussed easing sanctions and other rapprochements.

Saudi Arabia

On the campaign trail in 2020, Joe Biden vowed to make Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) a "pariah" after a group of hitmen - allegedly on orders from the young kingdom - killed and dismembered journalist Jamal Khashoggi with chainsaws. bone.

However, the tough talks did not stop the US president from flying to Riyadh in July for a first photo shoot to ask MBS to increase oil production ahead of midterm elections this month.

Flexing gasoline-fueled muscles, Saudi Arabia is doing the opposite. According to US officials, that directed OPEC+, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, to cut output in October - leading to higher prices and a windfall that accelerated finances for the kingdom.

Oil exporters in the Middle East, including Saudi Arabia and the U.A.E., are expected to see more than $1 trillion in additional oil revenue in the next four years, according to data from the International Monetary Fund released in August, compared to what was expected. had Russia not invaded Ukraine.

"Russia's war in Ukraine, combined with inflation at home, has contributed to a sharp rise in energy prices, thereby renewing attention to Saudi Arabia as one of the world's top oil producers, and the only one with significant capacity to rapidly increase production. , ' notes a report from the Council on Foreign Relations, a US-based think tank.

Saudi Arabia has maintained good relations with Russia throughout the war in Ukraine, analysts say.

High oil prices from the war also allow the kingdom to increase pressure on Washington as a player to be taken seriously, analysts say, despite its poor human rights record and contribution to climate change. This article was written by EDUKASI CAMPUS. 

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