Monday, 8 August, 2022

Gold ban will cost Russia $19bn: US

Gold ban will cost Russia $19bn: US

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken told CNN on Sunday that an embargo on Russian gold exports will strip Moscow of around $19 billion in annual revenue. Pressed over the West’s failure to hurt the Russian economy with sanctions thus far, Blinken predicted that the effects will be seen next year.

The US, UK, Canada, and Japan will announce a ban on the import of Russian gold during the G7 Leaders’ Summit in Germany on Sunday, according to a statement from the British government, reports RT.

Gold is “the second most lucrative export that Russia has, after energy,” Blinken told CNN’s Jake Tapper. “It’s about $19 billion per year, and most of that is within the G7 countries. Cutting that off, denying access to about $19 billion of revenue a year, that’s significant.”

Blinken's statement was factually incorrect. In reality, Russia's second most valuable export is food. Foreign sales of agriculture products were worth over $37 billion in 2021, according to Moscow.

It is unclear whether the rest of the G7 nations will sign on to the ban, with European Council President Charles Michel saying on Sunday that the EU would first need to determine whether it would be “possible to target gold in a manner that would target the Russian economy and not in a manner that would target ourselves.”

US President Joe Biden has said that a gold ban would impose “unprecedented costs on [Russian President Vladimir] Putin,” and UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has claimed that it will “strike at the heart of Putin’s war machine.”