The UAE has become a hub for Russias gold trade since western sanctions cut Russias traditional export routes and the Emirates positions itself as a neutral player in the Ukraine war.
The Gulf state imported 75.7 tonnes of Russian gold worth $4.3 billion in the year after Russias invasion of Ukraine - up from just 1.3 tonnes during 2021, according to Russian customs records first reported by Reuters.
China and Turkey were the next biggest destinations, importing about 20 tonnes each between 24 February 2022 and 3 March 2023. Together with the UAE, the three countries accounted for 99.8 percent of Russian gold exports, according to trade data reviewed by Reuters.
The disclosure underlines how states like Turkey and the UAE have become an economic lifeline for Moscow as it faces isolation in the West.
Tonnes are metric and are 10% greater than a US 2,000 pound ton.