Russia piling up forex reserves — RT Business News

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The country’s holdings rose by more than $5 billion over a two-week period, official data shows

Russia has continued to boost its foreign currency reserves, which reached $598.5 billion as of January 5, according to the country’s central bank. This represents an increase of $5.1 billion in the two-week period since December 22.

The central bank regularly publishes updates on its holdings with a one-week lag. Russia’s international reserves are officially defined as highly liquid foreign assets held by the Bank of Russia and the country’s government, consisting of foreign currencies, special drawing rights with the IMF, and monetary gold.

Nearly half of Russia’s international reserves were frozen by Western central banks in early March of last year as part of Ukraine-related sanctions. The Bank of Russia has not provided a detailed breakdown of what was frozen.

In recent weeks, there has been increased talk in the West about confiscating all or some of those funds, a move that Russian officials have warned strongly against.

The portion of Russia’s reserves not frozen consists of gold and foreign currency held within the country, as well as Chinese yuan assets.

President Vladimir Putin has said that the freezing of the nation’s assets has “eroded the credibility” of Western countries.

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