German economy minister urges Arab states not to benefit from Russian sanctions

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Qatar’s Energy Minister Saad Sharida al-Kaabi meets with German Economy Minister Robert Habeck in Doha, Qatar March 20, 2022. Qatar News Agency/Handout via REUTERS

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ABU DHABI, March 21 (Reuters) – German Economy Minister Robert Habeck, visiting Gulf countries to discuss long-term energy supplies, said on Monday they should not take advantage of sanctions against Russia for its invasion of Ukraine.

“I am not asking that they adhere to the sanctions (…) but I am asking not to take advantage of European and American sanctions,” Habeck told reporters in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates, after a visit to the city. Qatar.

He said he had seen no evidence of sanctioned Russian wealth entering the United Arab Emirates, the region’s commercial hub which diplomats, business executives and financial sources say has become a safe haven for wealthy Russians. Read more

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The minister said he had spoken with Qatari officials about Russian wealth entering the country. Qatari authorities did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

The Gulf states have tried to strike a balance between Western allies and Russia, with which they have energy and economic ties.

OPEC producers Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have also resisted Western calls to use their idle oil production capacity to rein in prices that have surged as the Russian invasion raised fears of oil shortages. ‘supply.

Russia is Germany’s largest gas supplier and Habeck has launched several initiatives to reduce his country’s energy dependence on Moscow.

During its visit to Doha on Sunday, Germany said a long-term energy partnership had been agreed while Qatar said the two countries would resume and continue discussions on the supply of liquefied natural gas. Read more

In Abu Dhabi’s Masdar Town, where Habeck visited a solar project, the minister said German companies would sign five memorandums of understanding regarding hydrogen research and development.

The German delegation is expected to hold talks with state oil company ADNOC and the energy minister of the United Arab Emirates.

Habeck said he would discuss Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s recent visit to the United Arab Emirates, the first to an Arab state since the start of the Syrian war in 2011, and which comes amid strained ties between Abu Dhabi and Washington. Read more

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Reporting by Riham Alkousaa and Alexander Cornwell; Written by Lina Najem; Editing by Alex Richardson and Angus MacSwan

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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