Russia adds more than 1,000,000 ounces of gold to country's vast stockpile

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The Central Bank of Russia boosted foreign exchange reserves by 31.1 tons of gold in February, raising holdings of the precious metal to 2,149 tons, according to foreign reserve data updated by the regulator.

Gold reserves grew by 1.5 percent against the previous month. The value of the gold reserves reportedly increased 2.4 percent to $91.642 billion, accounting for 19 percent of Russia’s foreign reserves.

Over the first two months of the current year the regulator purchased 1.2 million ounces, or 37 tons of the precious metal, with the monetary value of gold reserves jumping 5.5 percent.

The move reflects Russia’s commitment to the previously declared policy of diversification of international holdings to keep them safe from various risks.

Russia’s central bank has been actively buying gold since 2014, when the US and the European Union introduced their first economic sanctions against the country.

The regulator had reportedly purchased over 1,000 tons (34.6 million ounces) of the precious metal by the end of 2018.

Russia has also opted to move away from its reliance on the US dollar, having slashed the share of the greenback in its foreign reserves to historic lows over recent years.

Moreover, the country started unprecedented dumping of US Treasuries nearly a year ago after political tensions between Moscow and Washington significantly intensified.

The massive $81 billion sell-off came amid US sanctions targeting Russian businessmen, companies and government officials.

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