The country has overtaken Saudi Arabia with over $442 billion in foreign currency reserves, data shows
© Getty Images / Aslan Alphan
Russia has risen to sixth place in the world in terms of foreign currency reserves, according to the latest calculations by the World Gold Council. The country had accumulated $442.5 billion in forex holdings as of the end of 2023, overtaking Saudi Arabia, whose holdings have dropped to their lowest level since 2009 at $439 billion.
The top five in the ranking are China ($3.3 trillion), Japan ($1.2 trillion), Switzerland ($755.9 billion), India ($574.8 billion), and Taiwan ($564 billion).
In terms of total international reserves, which include monetary gold, Russia is also in sixth place with holdings worth $598.4 billion as of January 1. The value of its holdings rose by roughly $16 billion over the past year, largely due to higher gold prices, according to the Russian central bank.
However, analysts note that the country’s position in the global ranking will likely rise further if oil and gas prices increase given that a portion of the higher export revenues would form reserves, according to experts cited by the news outlet Izvestia.
Roughly half of Russia’s forex reserves have been frozen abroad due to Western sanctions against Moscow introduced in response to the Ukraine conflict. The EU and US have been mulling ways to confiscate them in order to fund aid packages for Kiev. EU ambassadors recently agreed to seize the profits generated from the frozen Russian assets held by Belgium-based clearing house Euroclear, which holds around two-thirds of the funds, to support Ukraine. The proposal, which would reportedly stop short of touching the assets themselves, has yet to be approved by the European Council.
READ MORE: Tapping frozen Russian assets is ‘economic racketeering’ – Moscow
Moscow has repeatedly condemned any actions targeting its assets held abroad, likening any such move to theft and warning that a response would ensue.
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