Russian financial elites rush to export gold abroad
In 2020, Russia exported $ 18.535 billion worth of gold. This is 3.2 times higher than in 2019.
In physical terms, the export of gold more than doubled, to 320 tons against 123 tons in 2019. It is known that most of the exported gold goes to the UK – 290 tons for $ 16.9 billion. In 2019, 113 tons of gold worth $ 5.3 billion were exported there. Note that the sales volume of 2019 at that time was also called a record – for comparison, in 2018 the UK bought gold from Russia only for $ 433 million, or, in physical terms – 10.4 tons.
Experts say that Russian gold flooded abroad after the coronavirus pandemic almost collapsed oil and gas revenues.
Although de facto, the doors to the export of practically all of the mined gold in the country were opened last spring, when the Russian government decided to issue general export licenses to mining companies.
Doctor of Economics Irina Romanova explained to Bloknot.ru that the sale of gold began for a number of reasons.
“The first of them is an attempt by the Russian elite to minimize the risks caused by the pandemic and the inevitable recession of the global economy. Also, gold exports are growing due to significant changes in the policy of the Bank of Russia, which for a long time bought up almost all the production of precious metals in Russia,” Romanova said.
The Bank of Russia was not only deprived of its monopoly on the purchase of gold, but on April 1, 2020 it announced a complete cessation of purchases. Thus, in fact, forced miners to sell precious metals abroad – mostly through commercial banks.
Earlier, economist Valentin Katasonov explained the consequences of a reduction in Russia’s gold reserves and active export of metal abroad. He recalled that Russia is still one of the largest gold mining countries in the world: it ranks second in the world in terms of precious metal mining after China.
According to Katasonov’s estimates, the Ministry of Finance and the Central Bank are playing a cunning and well-coordinated game with Russian gold. Some experts are sure: the Central Bank on the “golden front” unconditionally played against its own interests and even national interests.