28 Jun 2022 17:59

U.S. imposes ban on gold imports from Russia

MOSCOW. June 28 (Interfax) - The United States is imposing a ban on gold imports from Russia, the U.S. Treasury Department said in a statement.

The restrictions take effect on June 28, but do not apply to gold previously exported from Russia.

Thus, the U.S. joined the United Kingdom, Canada and Japan in the initiative on the gold embargo from Russia announced during the G7 summit, the press release said. Gold is Russia's largest non-energy export item, the U.S. Treasury Department said.

There were no direct exports of gold from Russia to the U.S. between 2019 and 2021, the Russian Federal Customs Service said.

Following the imposition of G7 sanctions, total restrictions on Russian exports to the UK will exceed 13.5 billion pounds, the British government said.

Russia exported more than 302 tonnes of gold worth $17.4 billion in 2021, the Federal Customs Service said. The UK is an important global hub for precious metals turnover and storage, which accounted for the bulk of the turnover (266 tonnes worth $15.4 billion).

Russian gold miners traditionally sell gold to commercial banks, which can then export or resell it domestically. After several Russian banks, which are major players in the market of precious metals, were sanctioned, gold mining companies began to look for direct access to foreign markets, and to obtain export licenses. The United Arab Emirates, as well as Turkey, China and Kazakhstan were mainly named among potential sales outlets.

Since January, when Russia exported 12.9 tonnes of gold worth $745 million (including 10.9 tonnes worth $638 million to the UK), the volume of gold exports from Russia is no longer officially disclosed. However, exports were still active in February, reaching almost 27.5 tonnes, but it actually halted in March and April, amounting to only 0.1 tonnes in total, the Association of Subsoil Users of the Magadan region said.