Russia offered weapons for sale Monday at a biennial arms fair in the United Arab Emirates, ranging from Kalashnikov assault rifles to missile systems — despite facing sanctions from the West over its war on Ukraine.
The arms for sale at the International Defense Exhibition and Conference held in the UAE capital of Abu Dhabi underscores how the Gulf Arab federation has sought to embrace Moscow while balancing its ties to the West.
As Russia’s war on Ukraine approaches its first anniversary on Friday, Russian money continues to flood into Dubai’s red-hot real estate market.
Daily flights between the Emirates and Moscow provide a lifeline for both those fleeing conscription and the Russian elite. The U.S. Treasury has expressed concerns about the amount of Russian cash flowing into the Arabian Peninsula country.
The arms fair typically sees the Emiratis host individuals that could be seen as problematic in the West. Former Sudanese strongman Omar al-Bashir came in 2017. Chechen regional leader Ramzan Kadyrov, himself now deeply involved in the Ukraine war, attended in 2019 and 2021.