The United Arab Emirates meet Ukraine

Lhe World Expo in Dubai, which ends at the end of this month, was to mark the inauguration of the United Arab Emirates’ great bet on globalization from which it would benefit fundamentally. The symbol is all the more cruel when the flag of Russia is celebrated there “The Infinite Source of Creativity” from “Russian Spirit”and that of Ukraine, he boasts “Sustainable development of an innovative and mobile society”. As if the great resurgence of war in Europe presented Abu Dhabi and the Federation of Emirates that directs it with an entirely new, uncomfortable at best and increasingly difficult to bear situation.

The Chechen network

Mohammed Bin Zayed, the de facto ruler of the Emirates, even if he is only the crown prince, has long had close and cordial relations with Vladimir Putin. They are primarily based on the common interest of these two regimes to maintain the highest oil prices under the aegis of Saudi Arabia. But the importance of Russian oligarchs’ investments in Dubai has added a dimension that is as profitable as it is sensitive to these bilateral ties. Finally, Abu Dhabi’s pioneering role in counter-revolutionary mobilization against democratic protest in the Arab world has led to an active rapprochement with Moscow, with support for General Sisi’s coup in Egypt that overthrew President-elect Morsi in 2013, then with engagement in Libya alongside “Marshal” Haftar, who wants to become the local equivalent of the Cairo strongman from 2014. These long years of more or less self-confessed cooperation culminated in the most recent normalization between Abu Dhabi and Damascus, which was intended to prepare the rehabilitation of the Assad regime in the Arab concert.

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Mohammed Ben Zayed is also very close to Ramzan Kadyrov, whom Putin put in charge of Chechnya in 2007 and often played the emissary between Moscow and Abu Dhabi. The Emirates have invested heavily in Chechnya, not only financially but also through Islamic conferences that define Sunni “orthodoxy.” That Islam known to Kadyrov legitimizes the most obscurantist patriarchal reaction and anti-gay violence is irrelevant to Mohammed bin Zayed, the main thing in his eyes is that Abu Dhabi and Grozny stoke the same active hostility to any form of liberal opposition. Even the repatriation of the remains of the Chechen executioner by Samuel Paty to be buried there “with honor”That didn’t seem to bother the Emirates strongman. Now Kadyrov claims to have sent several thousand Chechen auxiliaries to Ukraine, recruited alongside the Russian army. In so doing, with the tacit approval of Abu Dhabi, he brings valuable Muslim support to Moscow’s offensive against Ukrainian resistance fighters, whom he stigmatizes “Kyiv Nazis”.

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