Russia has earned twice as much money as West seized – Putin

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The freezing of assets “undermines trust in those who did it,” the president has said  

Russia has already earned double the amount of gold and foreign exchange reserves frozen by the West last year, President Vladimir Putin said at the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok on Tuesday.     

The EU, US, and their allies have frozen hundreds of billions of dollars’ worth of Russian central bank holdings as part of sanctions related to the Ukraine conflict.    

“I know that our gold and foreign exchange reserves are frozen. Yes, we have already earned twice as much. But we’re not even talking about this $300 billion, we’re talking about undermining trust in those who did this,” the Russian president argued.    

Many economists, including in the West, have warned that the seizure of Russian assets would jeopardize investor confidence in the EU’s banking system and damage the bloc’s status as a global financial center.     

Nearly $300 billion of Russian gold and forex reserves have been frozen since the beginning of Moscow’s military operation in Ukraine. The Russian central bank’s reserves decreased by 8.4% in 2022, according to official estimates.     

In March of this year, the Bank of Russia resumed publishing data on the structure of state reserves. As of August, the country’s gold and foreign exchange funds amounted to $580.5 billion.

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