Moscow: While gold rates are crossing the level of USD 1,800 per ounce in the international market, Russia has made major additions to its gold reserves. The Russian gold reserves have reached 2,300 tonnes, valued at USD 130 billion. The Russian foreign exchange reserves also have reached near USD 570 billion.
The United States and European Union imposed massive sanctions against Russia following the Russian acquisition of Crimea in 2014. To face the sanctions, Russia President Vladimir Putin ordered to increase the gold reserves, thus reducing the US dollar component, in the foreign reserves. He had also set a target that the foreign reserves should reach USD 500 billion by the year 2020. By surpassing the set target, Russia foreign reserves have reached USD 567 billion.
While increasing foreign reserves, Russia has also increased the gold component in the foreign reserves. The Russian Central Bank is consistently purchasing gold for the last five years. The Russian Central Bank had clarified that this gold purchase was a part of the policy to reduce dependence on the US dollar. The Russian sources informed that the gold reserves had reached 2,300 tonnes in June. The valuation of the gold is USD 130 billion, forming 21% of the total foreign reserves.
There has also been an increase in gold production in Russia, and The Union of Gold Producers of Russia has informed that in the first three months of the fiscal, the gold production has reached 64 tonnes. The Russian institution said that this is 5% more than the corresponding period last year. The Russian addition to the foreign reserves, including the gold reserves, against the background of coronavirus pandemic and economic slowdown, becomes noteworthy.