Russia’s Olimpiada Mine owned by Polyus https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Olimpiada_mine https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polyus_(company)
In 2020, $16.9 billion of Russian gold exports went to the UK, which was 90% of the gold exported that year ($18.7B). https://oec.world/en/profile/bilateral-product/gold/reporter/rus?redirect=true In 2021, Russia exported $17.4 billion of gold: https://www.worldstopexports.com/gold-exports-country
These high amounts do not seem to be routine, however. This suggests that Russia, or Russians, may have exported gold to the UK ahead of the war in order to sell later. The increase in cost of gold does not appear to account for the change.
In 2019, the gold export value from Russia is listed as $7.7 billion. https://atlas.cid.harvard.edu/countries/186/export-basket The peak gold price for 2020 was around $2000 per troy ounce which is an approximately 50% increase in price from 2019. So, this amount isn’t due to price alone, but increase in quantity. https://www.bullionbypost.com/gold-price/10-year-gold-price-chart-usd/
How will the sanctions “build on the action taken by the London Bullion Market on 7th March to suspend six Russian refineries”? Jewelry and coins? Or bullion coming in ways other than the London Bullion Market?
They are apparently still going to allow export and sale of previously purchased Russian gold.
Those countries which object to Russia’s assault on Ukraine should have sanctioned, and frozen, all Russian assets from February 24th. They should still do so. They should sanction all gold owned by Russians and make this retroactive – not just Russian origin gold. Then, let Russians prove that they have no connection to the regime. Russia is attacking everyone and everything in Ukraine. The same should apply to all Russians, unless they can prove that they aren’t connected to or helping the regime. That’s fair, unlike Putin’s Russia, which has a scorched earth policy.
“The gold import ban, which will come into force shortly, will apply to newly mined or refined gold. It does not impact Russian-origin gold previously exported from Russia. There are no plans to extend restrictions to Russian gold purchased legitimately before the import ban was put in place” https://www.gov.uk/government/news/uk-sanctions-russian-gold-exports 🙄
“In 2020, Russia exported $18.7B in Gold. The main destinations of Russia exports on Gold were United Kingdom ($16.9B), Switzerland ($693M), Kazakhstan ($424M), Turkey ($380M), and India ($96.6M). In 2020, Russia imported $536M in Gold, mainly from Uzbekistan ($483M), Switzerland ($25.2M), Belarus ($13.1M), Thailand ($5.66M), and United Arab Emirates ($5.22M).” (“Gold in Russia”: https://oec.world/en/profile/bilateral-product/gold/reporter/rus )
“UK sanctions Russian gold exports
New exports of Russian gold will no longer be allowed to be enter the UK, Canada, US and Japan thanks to tough new measures to be announced at the G7 Summit.
From: Prime Minister’s Office, 10 Downing Street and The Rt Hon Boris Johnson MP
Published 26 June 2022
* UK, US, Japan and Canada will lead G7 to ban import of Russian gold, the country’s biggest non-energy export
* UK import restrictions now apply to over £13.5 billion of Russian exports
* Comprehensive sanctions package a demonstration of international unity and resolve as leaders gather in Bavaria for the G7 Summit
New exports of Russian gold will no longer be allowed to be enter the UK, Canada, US and Japan thanks to tough new measures to be announced at the G7 Summit starting today [Sunday 26th June] designed ratchet up the pressure on Putin’s war machine.
Gold is a major Russian export, worth £12.6 billion to the Russian economy in 2021. Its value to the Russian elite has also increased in recent months with oligarchs rushing to buy gold bullion in an attempt to avoid the financial impact of western sanctions. London is a major global gold trading hub and UK sanctions, which will be the first of their kind to be implemented against Russia anywhere in the world, will have a huge impact on Putin’s ability to raise funds.
Given’s London central role in the international gold trade and parallel US, Japanese and Canadian action, this measure will have global reach, shutting the commodity out of formal international markets. At the G7, the Prime Minister will urge other leaders to join us to further isolate Russia from the international financial system.
UK import restrictions now apply to over £13.5 billion worth of Russian exports. The UK has also sanctioned more than 1,000 individuals and more than 100 entities since Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.
The Prime Minister said:
“The measures we have announced today will directly hit Russian oligarchs and strike at the heart of Putin’s war machine.
“Putin is squandering his dwindling resources on this pointless and barbaric war. He is bankrolling his ego at the expense of both the Ukrainian and Russian people.
“We need to starve the Putin regime of its funding. The UK and our allies are doing just that.”
Chancellor Rishi Sunak said:
“With this import ban on new Russian-origin gold, over £13.5bn of our imports from Russia will be covered by restrictions. Given London’s role at the heart of the global gold trade, this shows the UK will take tough steps to stop the Russian war machine.
“I am pleased that following discussions with others in the G7 Finance Track, the US, Canada and Japan will be joining us in imposing this measure, shutting down avenues for Russian gold sales and maximising the impact that we can have on Putin and his cronies.”
The measures announced today build on the action taken by the London Bullion Market on 7th March to suspend six Russian refineries.
The gold import ban, which will come into force shortly, will apply to newly mined or refined gold. It does not impact Russian-origin gold previously exported from Russia. There are no plans to extend restrictions to Russian gold purchased legitimately before the import ban was put in place”. https://www.gov.uk/government/news/uk-sanctions-russian-gold-exports Open Government Licence v3.0 https://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/doc/open-government-licence/version/3/
These sanctions largely formalize measures that have already been taken by the private sector: