Russia no longer has access to half of its foreign reserves as well as other assets abroad, according to Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov, who said on Sunday that over 300 billion dollars in reserves were blocked as a result of Western sanctions.
“The total volume of our reserves is about 640 billion dollars, and we cannot use about 300 billion dollars now due to the circumstances,” Belga News Agency quotes the finance minister as saying.
China keeps cash flows open to Russia
“We are also seeing Western countries put pressure on China,” he added. Some countries have reportedly been urging Beijing not to allow Russia to access its international reserves in yuan but, according to Siluanov, ties with China are so good that Russia could even increase its reserves in the Chinese currency.
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The EU, US and other allies have blocked the Russian Central Bank’s access to foreign assets, making it more difficult for President Vladimir Putin to finance his war in Ukraine.
Without foreign currency, it is also harder to prevent a new devaluation of the ruble, which has already lost a good deal of its value due to Western economic and financial sanctions.