Russia’s forex reserves surging

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Russia’s foreign currency reserves have continued to grow, surpassing $593 billion as of December 22, the country’s central bank has reported. 

Statistics show the volume of international reserves increased by $5.5 billion, or 0.9%, in the week from December 15, largely due to “a positive market revaluation.” 

The stockpile reached a historic high of $643.2 billion on February 18, 2022. However, roughly half of Russia’s foreign currency reserves were frozen by Western central banks last March as part of Ukraine-related sanctions.

In addition to freezing the funds, Western countries banned operations related to their management. The remaining holdings consist of gold and foreign currency held within the country, as well as Chinese yuan assets.

President Vladimir Putin said recently that Russia has already earned double the amount of the gold and foreign exchange reserves frozen by the West last year. According to the Russian leader, the freezing of the country’s assets has caused an “erosion of credibility” in Western countries.

Many economists have warned that the seizure of Russian assets is jeopardizing investor confidence in the Western banking system. Meanwhile, the US has reportedly been pushing its allies to confiscate Russian assets to cover the costs of the reconstruction of Ukraine. Moscow has repeatedly warned that it will respond with similar measures with regard to Western assets held in the country.

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