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Russia's $132 billion in gold reserves could face US sanctions as new legislation seeks to choke off potential lifeline, report says

·2-min read
Congress at sunset
The US Capitol.Stock photo via Getty Images
  • A bipartisan group of US senators proposed a bill targeting Russia's $132 billion in gold, per Axios.

  • The legislation would apply restrictions on American entities making gold transactions with Russia's central bank holdings.

  • The senators aim to include the gold sanctions in the omnibus spending package that could pass as soon as Friday.

A bipartisan group of US senators have teamed up to propose a bill that would prevent Russia from using its $132 billion gold stockpile to ease the burden of crippling Western sanctions, according to Axios.

The legislation would apply restrictions on American entities making gold transactions with Russia's central bank holdings.

The senators backing the bill — who include Independent Angus King, Republicans John Cornyn and Bill Hagerty, and Democrat Maggie Hassan — aim to include the sanction on Russian gold in the omnibus spending package that lawmakers hope to pass by Friday, Axios said.

"Russia's massive gold supply is one of the few remaining assets that Putin can use to keep his country's economy from falling even further," King said in a statement to Axios. "By sanctioning these reserves, we can further isolate Russia from the world's economy and increase the difficulty of Putin's increasingly-costly military campaign."

Since Russia invaded Ukraine, the US and other Western nations have imposed a series of sanctions on Russia, including the freezing of its foreign currency reserves.

That's made Russia's gold stockpile an increasingly important asset for Moscow to use to shore up its finances amid economic turmoil and a cratering ruble.

The Kremlin boosted its its gold holdings in response to US sanctions after Russia invaded Crimea in 2014. And gold purchases have stepped up again in the last two weeks since Moscow launched its war against Ukraine.

Meanwhile, gold prices on Monday surged past $2,000 an ounce for the first time in 18 months and continued climbing on Tuesday as investors turned to safe-haven assets amid the market rout.

Read the original article on Business Insider

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