UAE refuses to take sides on Russian invasion of Ukraine
An Emirati official said Sunday that taking sides on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine would “lead to more violence” after the UAE abstained in a UN Security Council vote on a resolution demanding a withdrawal.
The United Arab Emirates, India, and China were the only countries in the 15-member Security Council to abstain Friday on the US-Albanian drafted resolution, while Moscow used its veto.
UAE presidential adviser Anwar Gargash tweeted on Sunday: “We believe that alignment and positioning will only lead to more violence.”
“In the Ukrainian crisis, our priorities are to encourage all parties to adopt diplomacy and negotiate to find a political settlement that ends this crisis,” he wrote.
The UAE, a non-permanent member, takes over the presidency of the Security Council for a month on Tuesday.
“The UAE’s position is firm on the basic principles of the United Nations, international law, state sovereignty, and its rejection of military solutions,” Gargash said.
Like many of its Gulf neighbours, most notably powerhouse Saudi Arabia, the UAE has refrained from condemning the Russian invasion as it walks a tightrope between its interests with the US and Russia.
Cooperation with Moscow in the fields of security, the economy, and energy, as well as aligned political interests in the region, have made Moscow an indispensable partner to members of the Gulf Cooperation Council.
Though the UAE is seen as a key US ally in the region, hosting a major American base, increasing conditions attached to arms deals have caused friction.
Also, the UAE, in particular Dubai, has long been seen as a magnet for Russian investment, and a vacation destination for the Russian elite.
In another tweet, Gargash wrote: “From our experience in a region full of crises, we believe that political solutions and creating balances that enhance security and stability are the best way to confront crises.”