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Russian Gold & Foreign Exchange Reserves Reach $494.6 BLN
13.03.2014 19:25
Russian Gold & Foreign Exchange Reserves Reach $494.6 BLN
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Russia has bolstered its gold and foreign exchange reserves by another 1.3 billion over a week, says a statement of the Bank of Russia.

      Consisting of foreign exchange, gold assets and special drawing rights, the reserves now total $494.6 billion.

      The news has been drowned in an ocean of negative reports about the Russian economy, including the volatility on the stock exchange which followed a statement by the OECD on suspending Russia’s accession process. The decision was made by the organisation’s board of directors at a meeting on Wednesday, March 12, 2014.

      At the same time, the statement said the Paris-based body will intensify cooperation with Ukraine.

      The move comes amid heightening tension between Moscow and the West that has threatened Russia with sanctions over its Ukraine policy.

      Earlier, Moody’s has warned Russia could lose investment appeal and its current credit rating due to the uncertainty over the Ukraine crisis. According to the rating agency, Russia’s GDP can suffer as a result, with many private investors withdrawing their funds from the economy. The risk is exacerbated by the fact that many Russian banks and companies operate in Ukraine.

      The tough international response over Russia’s intentions in Crimea triggered a massive sale of Russian stocks. The Central Bank has been forced to resort to mass injections of US dollars and euros to keep the national currency afloat.

      Russia-IC also reported that a military invasion of Crimea would cost the Russian economy some three percent of GDP. The transit of natural gas to European consumers worth $30 billion may be disrupted, the Vedomosti business daily quoted an estimate by Bank of America Merrill Lynch. In case of a military operation, the EU may block the construction of the South Stream pipeline and switch to other energy sources in a move towards an economic boycott.

      The Russian authorities have pledged financial aid to the residents of the autonomy whose budget is facing a $1 billion deficit.


Author: Mikhail Vesely

Tags: Crimea Ukraine crisis Russian economy   

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