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Russia's Stock of U.S. Debt Down $21 Billion This Year

Russia has trimmed $21 billion off its holdings of U.S. Treasury bills this year, according to U.S. Treasury data released this week.

At the end of September, Russia held U.S. government debt worth $117.7 billion, down from $138.6 billion at the start of the year.

The biggest movement was in March, the month in which Moscow sparked a global crisis by seizing Ukraine's Crimea peninsula. Apprehensive of possible U.S. moves to punish Moscow, Russia slashed $26 billion off its balance, taking it to a low of just over $100 billion.

U.S. Treasury bills are considered one of the world's safest assets. Russia's economy is closely tied to the volatile oil market, and Moscow invests part of its savings in U.S. Treasury bills as an economic safety buffer. Russia is the 12th-biggest owner of U.S. debt. China, the leader, owns Treasury bills worth $1.27 trillion.

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