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Sam Fleming and Henry Foy in Brussels, Felicia Schwartz and James Politi in Washington and Simeon Kerr in Abu Dhabi

Western allies are pushing the United Arab Emirates to halt exports of critical goods to Russia, as they seek to starve Vladimir Putin’s military of components to sustain its war against Ukraine.

Officials from the US, EU and UK have in recent weeks visited the wealthy Gulf state to spell out the wide-ranging scope of their trade restrictions, and to press UAE officials to clamp down on suspected sanctions busting, according to people involved in the trips.

The US government is worried the UAE is becoming a hub for the shipment of items such as electronics that can be repurposed to help Russia’s war effort.

One particular concern, according to people familiar with the discussions, is so-called “re-exporting”, where goods are routed through the UAE to sidestep restrictions.

James O’Brien, head of the US office of sanctions co-ordination, joined EU sanctions envoy David O’Sullivan and David Reed, director of the UK’s sanctions directorate, on a visit to the UAE last month to press their case.

“Our main request [to the UAE] is that they stop the re-exports [and] acknowledge these re-exports are problematic,” said a western official, adding that “conversations are continuing”.

Read more about western pressure on the UAE here.

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