The unlikely geopolitical winners from Russia’s war in Ukraine


Russia’s invasion of Ukraine greater than eight months in the past has killed tens of hundreds of civilians, left the nation’s energy grid in ruins, displaced tens of millions and exacerbated rising meals and gasoline costs.

But a small group of countries have discovered monetary and geopolitical advantages in the ashes of the carnage, sanctions and financial dislocation.

Beneficiaries, in many instances, maintain no accountability for the violence; their features are linked to geography, vitality exports or distinctive diplomatic confluence.

For others, Russia’s onslaught has been an opportunity to reassert their political clout and actively reap financial rewards. Countries and corporations in the vitality enterprise have arguably been among the many largest beneficiaries, because the war has helped push oil and pure fuel costs to near-record highs.

“Economies reliant on oil imports will see wider fiscal and commerce deficits and extra inflation strain,” economists with the International Monetary Fund famous earlier this yr, “although some exporters akin to these in the Middle East and Africa could profit from increased costs.”

From the yacht marinas of Dubai to diplomatic corridors in Ankara and the oilfields of Saudi Arabia, these are some beneficiaries because the war drags on into winter and the loss of life toll climbs.

WATCH | Russian forces have withdrawn from Kherson, Moscow says

Russian forces have withdrawn from Kherson, Moscow says

As the war in Ukraine continues, the Kremlin says all of its tools and troops have been moved out of Kherson. This retreat provides to Ukraine’s criticism of Russian troops with Ukraine MP Oleksiy Goncharenko saying in half ” Russia misplaced this war.”

United Arab Emirates

With its opulent motels, marinas and desert golf programs, the United Arab Emirates has seen an enormous bump in Russian tourism and funding for the reason that invasion of Ukraine started on Feb. 24.

Oligarchs who as soon as moored their yachts on Italy’s Amalfi Coast, partied in U.Okay. nightclubs or purchased properties price tens of tens of millions of {dollars} in what critics dubbed “Londongrad” have relocated to the U.A.E. in the face of Western sanctions, in keeping with analysts and property brokers.

Russians have change into the highest consumers of property in Dubai, one of the best recognized of the seven Emirates comprising the U.A.E., in keeping with a report launched final month from the property consultancy Betterhomes.

The Nirvana, an 88-metre-long superyacht price about $300 million US, is docked on the Port Rashid terminal in Dubai, U.A.E., in June. The yacht is owned by Vladimir Potanin, a Russian billionaire who heads the world’s largest refined nickel and palladium producer. He joins a rising listing of these transferring or crusing their prized property to Dubai in the face of Western sanctions. (Kamran Jebreili/The Associated Press)

“Global conflicts,” the Betterhomes report mentioned, “have positioned Russians on the prime of our leaderboard because the primary non-resident consumers in Dubai.”

With half of residences in town altering arms in all-cash offers, the consultancy discovered, Dubai presents an ideal laundering alternative for rich consumers frozen out of conventional banks by Western sanctions.

As European and U.S. airways suspended service to Russia, Emirates, one of many U.A.E.’s predominant carriers, continues working 17 weekly flights between Moscow and Dubai.

The U.A.E., a significant oil producer, has additionally benefited from a lift in vitality costs because of the war. And its monetary system, thought of by Western critics to be a main hub for cash laundering, has allowed rich Russians to bypass European and U.S. sanctions.

Guests dance throughout a personal get together on a ship reverse the skyline of the Marina Waterfront, in Dubai in 2015. Dubai’s year-round sunshine provides it a summer time vibe all through the winter months. On weekends, get together boats ferry Russian and Western expatriates down the canal. (Kamran Jebreili/The Associated Press)


Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has positioned himself as a mediator between Vladimir Putin’s Russia and his erstwhile NATO allies in the West, reaping financial rewards in the method.

Turkey has refused to affix different members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in sanctioning Russia. Instead, Ankara helped dealer offers with Moscow to permit Ukraine to export its grain, probably easing an ongoing meals disaster for the world’s poorest.

Long a well-liked sand and solar vacation spot, 4 million Russians vacationed in Turkey in the primary 9 months of this yr, in keeping with information cited by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace — and that development is predicted to accentuate as Russian vacationers lose entry to European locations.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, left, shakes arms with Putin throughout their assembly on the sidelines of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia, in Astana, Kazakhstan, on Oct. 13. Turkey has refused to affix different members of NATO in sanctioning Russia over the war, and has change into a conduit for Russian commerce. (Vyacheslav Prokofyev/Kremlin Pool Photo/The Associated Press)

Turkey has additionally change into an export and import conduit for Russian commerce, as Moscow is lower off from its conventional suppliers in Europe.

“The commerce turnover between Russia and Turkey doubled in the primary 9 months of this yr from the yr earlier than to succeed in $47 billion,” Alexandra Prokopenko, an analyst working with the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, famous on Nov. 8..

“Turkey could properly have change into one among Russia’s prime three buying and selling companions.”

With Sweden and Finland eager to affix NATO in mild of Russia’s aggression, Turkey has exercised its veto energy on new members becoming a member of the safety alliance, demanding that Stockholm and Helsinki crack down on Kurdish activists working from their territory whom Ankara considers a safety risk.

The cargo ship Razoni crosses the Bosphorus Strait in Istanbul in August. It was the primary cargo ship to go away Ukraine for the reason that Russian invasion in February. (Khalil Hamra/The Associated Press)


The war in Ukraine has helped Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro rekindle ties with outdated enemies.

Considered an unelected usurper by each Ottawa and Washington — who’ve gone as far as to acknowledge a rival politician as Venezuela’s rightful chief — U.S. officers now appear to need to convey Caracas again into their fold.

Venezuela controls the world’s largest oil reserves, in keeping with the U.S. Energy Information Administration, and American vitality corporations and policy-makers are eager to rebuild its manufacturing to assist convey down world costs.

Caracas and Washington just lately negotiated a high-profile prisoner swap, liberating seven Americans and two nephews of Maduro’s spouse who had been jailed in the U.S. on drug prices.

With U.S. oil corporations, notably Chevron, eager to begin tapping extra of Venezuela’s crude, the 2 sides have mentioned easing sanctions and different rapprochement.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, left, and his spouse, Cilia Flores, watch a Youth Day march in Caracas in February. Venezuela controls the world’s largest oil reserves, and U.S. vitality corporations and policy-makers are eager to rebuild its manufacturing to assist convey down world costs. (Matias Delacroix/The Associated Press)

Saudi Arabia

On the marketing campaign path in 2020, Joe Biden promised to make Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman (MBS), a “pariah” after a squad of hitmen — allegedly on orders from the younger royal — murdered and dismembered journalist Jamal Khashoggi with a bone noticed.

That powerful speak, nonetheless, did not cease the U.S. president from flying to Riyadh in July for a fist-bump photo-op to ask MBS to spice up oil manufacturing forward of this month’s midterm elections.

Flexing its petrol-fuelled muscle tissues, Saudi Arabia did the alternative. According to U.S. officers, it steered OPEC+, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, to chop manufacturing in October — resulting in increased costs and an accelerating monetary windfall for the dominion.

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, proper, greets U.S. President Joe Biden with a fist bump in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, in July. On the marketing campaign path in 2020, Biden vowed to make MBS a ‘pariah,’ however excessive oil costs linked to the war in Ukraine boosted Saudi Arabia’s political clout. (Saudi Press Agency/The Associated Press)

Oil exporters in the Middle East, together with Saudi Arabia and the U.A.E., are anticipated to see greater than $1 trillion US in further oil income in the subsequent 4 years, in keeping with information from the International Monetary Fund launched in August, in contrast with what was anticipated had Russia not invaded Ukraine.

“Russia’s war in Ukraine, mixed with inflation at dwelling, have contributed to a steep rise in vitality costs, thus renewing consideration on Saudi Arabia as one of many world’s prime oil producers, and the one one to have a big capability to extend manufacturing shortly,” famous a report from the Council on Foreign Relations, a U.S.-based think-tank.

Saudi Arabia has maintained cordial relations with Russia all through the war in Ukraine, analysts mentioned.

High oil costs from the war have additionally allowed the dominion to extend strain on Washington as a participant to be taken severely, analysts mentioned, regardless of its poor human rights document and contribution to local weather change.


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