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Russia boasted of its relations with the UAE in leaked intelligence documents

Russia boasted of its relations with the UAE in leaked intelligence documents


April 11, 2023 | 8:23 a.m

A newly leaked document showed that Russian intelligence officers bragged about undermining the United States with new relations with the UAE.

The document, which reportedly appeared on social media as part of a larger US intelligence breach, had known top secret signs and was seen by The Associated Press.

The page titled “Russia/UAE: Deepening Intelligence Relationships” claimed that the two countries had forged a new relationship against the US and UK.

“In mid-January, FSB officials alleged that UAE and Russian security service officials agreed to work together against US and British intelligence agencies, according to newly acquired signals intelligence,” the report reads, referring to the Soviet-era security agency. to the KGB successor security agency.

It concluded, “The UAE likely views dealing with Russian intelligence as an opportunity to strengthen the growing relations between Abu Dhabi and Moscow and diversify intelligence partnerships amid fears of a US withdrawal from the region.”

US officials declined to comment on the authenticity of the document, while Emirati officials said the accusations were “categorically false”.

However, the United States remains concerned that the UAE may be helping Russia avoid sanctions imposed due to the ongoing war in Ukraine.

There are concerns that the UAE is helping Russia thwart sanctions imposed after the invasion of Ukraine.
AFP via Getty Images

In March, Assistant Secretary of the Treasury Elizabeth Rosenberg called the UAE a “focus country,” noting that companies based there are helping Russia obtain more than $5 million in US semiconductors and other materials with potential combat uses.

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US intelligence officials have also pointed to possible ties between the UAE and the Wagner Group, Russia’s secretive and controversial paramilitary group.

In 2020, the US Defense Intelligence Agency alleged that the UAE “may provide some funding” to the group, which is active in Ukraine and parts of Africa.

Russian President Vladimir Putin shakes hands with President of the United Arab Emirates Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan last fall.
via Reuters

Andreas Krieg, assistant professor at King’s College London, said on Monday that the UAE is Russia’s “most important strategic partner in both the Middle East and Africa” ​​thanks to their shared views on many key issues in the region.

The possible reference to US and British intelligence was nonetheless surprising, said Kristian Ulrichsen, a Middle East expert at Rice University’s Baker Institute.

“[Russian intelligence] You might have an interest in describing something in those terms,” ​​he explained.

Russia may be looking to further thwart US intelligence operations during the Ukraine war.
Sputnik/AFP via Getty Images

“If this is how the UAE describes it, I would definitely take it… completely differently.”

A US official also told the Associated Press that the US is concerned about Russians flooding Dubai’s real estate market in the wake of the Ukraine invasion.

In October, federal prosecutors in New York announced charges against two Russian men based in Dubai who were allegedly part of an operation to steal military technology from US companies, as well as smuggle millions of barrels of oil and launder money for oligarchs linked to Vladimir. put it in.

In the shipping documents, one Russian resident in Dubai is quoted assuring his partners that there is “no concern” about Emirati institutions being used for illicit transactions.

“This is the [worst] bank in the UAE.

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“They pay for everything.”

The UAE is also one of the few countries still operating direct flights to Moscow after the Ukrainian invasion.

However, in a statement on Monday, the UAE government denied allegations of links with the FSB.

“We refute any allegations about an agreement to deepen cooperation between the UAE and the security services of other countries against another country,” the statement said.

“The UAE enjoys deep and distinguished relations with all countries, reflecting its principles of openness, partnership, building bridges, and working to serve the common interests of countries and peoples to achieve international peace and security.”

Relations between the United States and the UAE have varied over the past several years under the leadership of the ruler of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

Under former President Donald Trump, the UAE diplomatically recognized Israel. The country is now seeking US F-35 fighter jets, which they have yet to receive.

with wire

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