(4 March 2022) The US, the EU, the UK and other allied countries have imposed sanctions against the Central Bank of Russia to limit Moscow's ability to use its foreign exchange reserves to support the Russian financial system after the largest Russian banks were cut off from the global financial messaging system SWIFT.

  • Due to high world oil and gas prices, Russia's foreign exchange reserves had increased to a record $643 billion as of Feb. 18, 2022*
  • Since 2014, when the first Western sanctions were imposed against Russian banks and businesses, the Central Bank of Russia has significantly changed the allocation of foreign reserves in favor of gold (stored in Russia) and the Chinese yuan. According to the latest report from the Central Bank of Russia (published with a 6 month lag), as of June 30, 2021 gold and Chinese yuan accounted for 35% of Russia's foreign exchange reserves.
  • The value of Russia's foreign exchange reserves that is blocked by Western allies is an estimated $419 billion, assuming the allocation by geography and currency has not changed significantly since mid-2021 and access to SDRs and IMF reserve position is also blocked.

*Feb. 18, 2022 is the latest available official record. The Central Bank of Russia has stated that it will not disclose the amount of foreign exchange reserves for the next three months.


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