United Arab Emirates Ambassador to Russia Omar Ghobash today gave an interview discussing the ongoing diplomatic crisis with Qatar, insisting that his nation and the rest of the anti-Qatar bloc is preparing fresh economic sanctions, and moves that would lead to “permanent isolation” for the tiny Gulf state.
Direct sanctions are unlikely at this point, as other than continuing to buy Qatari natural gas, neither the UAE nor the rest of the bloc has any trade with Qatar left to curb, and the loss of the natural gas would be an economic disaster for the UAE at least as much as for Qatar.
Ghobash, rather, suggested that the sanctions might target other nations and companies that have economic ties with Qatar, and might go so far as to tell countries that they need to “choose” between trading with Qatar, or with the rest of the bloc.
This sort of sanction has become increasingly popular in recent years, with the US particularly favoring such moves as they spend decades trying to find new ways to sanction countries they have no economic ties with in the first place. Trade with Qatar or the four nations blockading them may be a difficult choice for many nations, but given the considerable annoyance of nations like Turkey at the blockade, some may ultimately favor Qatar.