February 24, 2023

Sanctions on Russian Bank Raise Questions About ‘sanctions-proofing’ in Gulf

Source: Middle East Eye

Journalist: Sean Mathews

Rachel Ziemba, a sanctions expert at the Center for a New American Security, told Middle East Eye the bank was “ahead of the curve" in establishing itself in the UAE, to take advantage of the influx of Russian emigres and new business opportunities.

In the UAE, the sanctions on MTS are likely to have a chilling effect, Alex Zerden, a former Treasury Department official in the Obama and Trump administrations, told MEE.

“Emirati financial institutions may decide to sever their banking relationships with MTS Bank based on OFAC’s (Office of Foreign Assets Control) designation,” he told MEE.

“Most of these Emirati banks that would be doing business with MTS are doing business with the US-based financial system. They won’t want to put that at risk,” Ziemba added.

Read the full story and more from the Middle East Eye.


  • Alex Zerden

    Adjunct Senior Fellow, Energy, Economics, and Security Program, Founder, Capital Peak Strategies

    Alex Zerden is the founder of Capitol Peak Strategies, a risk advisory firm based in Washington, DC. Capitol Peak works with leading financial institutions, companies and orga...

  • Rachel Ziemba

    Adjunct Senior Fellow, Energy, Economics, & Security Program

    Rachel Ziemba is an Adjunct Senior Fellow at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS). Her research focuses on the interlinkages between economics, finance and security i...