RAPAPORT… The US, UK, Canada and Japan have placed sanctions on the import of Russian gold in an effort to eliminate revenue used to fund President Vladimir Putinâ€™s war on Ukraine.
The four countries made the decision to ban Russiaâ€™s biggest non-energy export at the G7 summit in Germany on Sunday, the UK government said. The remaining G7 participants â€” France, Italy and Germany â€” will likely follow suit, US President Joe Biden implied in a tweet the same day.
â€œTogether, the G7 will announce that we will ban the import of Russian gold, a major export that rakes in tens of billions of dollars for Russia,â€ President Biden wrote.
The ban, which is due to come into effect shortly, will apply to newly mined or refined gold but will not impact Russian-origin gold previously exported from Russia, the UK explained. The countries currently have no plans to extend the restrictions to Russian gold purchased legitimately prior to the import ban.
â€œThe measures…will directly hit Russian oligarchs and strike at the heart of Putinâ€™s war machine,â€ said UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson. â€œWe need to starve the Putin regime of its funding.â€
Russia earned GBP 12.6 billion ($15.52 billion) from the export of gold last year, the UK government noted. London is a major gold-trading hub, and the sanctions will have a â€œhuge impactâ€ on Russiaâ€™s ability to fund the war.
The new curbs follow the London Bullion Marketâ€™s suspension of six Russian refineries, as well as limitations by the US, UK and European Union on transactions with Russian diamond miner Alrosa. The countries have also placed sanctions on more than 1,000 individuals and over 100 entities since the war started on February 24.
Image: Gold bars. (Shutterstock)