Support The Moscow Times!

Russia's Reserves Drop Below $400 Billion

Gold bars from the vault of a bank are seen in this photo illustration taken in Moscow.

Russia's gold and foreign currency reserves dropped below $400 billion for the first time since August 2009 as of Dec. 19, the Central Bank said Thursday.

The Central Bank has spent over $80 billion defending the ruble this year, as a sharp slide in oil prices and Western sanctions over the Ukraine crisis have driven the Russian currency sharply lower, threatening financial stability.

The bank has expanded its foreign-currency repurchase agreement operations in response to market instability, offering banks foreign currency for a period of one week, 28 days and one year, to ease a deficit of dollars and euros.

Analysts said around $5 billion of the $15 billion fall in the week to Dec. 19 was because of interventions to support the ruble, while around $7 billion was due to foreign currency loaned to banks as part of repo operations.

Since that foreign currency will be returned to the Central Bank at a later stage, the reserves could recover some of the losses in the near or mid-term, they said, adding that the remainder of the losses were likely due to shifts in the value of the bank's foreign-currency holdings.

… we have a small favor to ask. As you may have heard, The Moscow Times, an independent news source for over 30 years, has been unjustly branded as a "foreign agent" by the Russian government. This blatant attempt to silence our voice is a direct assault on the integrity of journalism and the values we hold dear.

We, the journalists of The Moscow Times, refuse to be silenced. Our commitment to providing accurate and unbiased reporting on Russia remains unshaken. But we need your help to continue our critical mission.

Your support, no matter how small, makes a world of difference. If you can, please support us monthly starting from just $2. It's quick to set up, and you can be confident that you're making a significant impact every month by supporting open, independent journalism. Thank you.

Once
Monthly
Annual
Continue
paiment methods
Not ready to support today?
Remind me later.

Read more