Foreign media reported on March 24 that G-7 leaders met at NATO headquarters in Brussels and agreed to crack down on Russia’s ability to sell gold reserves to support the ruble, block any attempts by Moscow to evade Western financial sanctions, and increase economic punishment inflicted against Putin’s regime. In the statement, they said the G7 leaders and the EU will continue to work jointly to weaken Russia’s ability to use its international reserves to prop up the Russian economy and fund Putin’s war. Including making it clear that any transactions involving gold related to the Central Bank of the Russian Federation are subject to existing sanctions.
A senior U.S. official said Russia’s gold reserves could be worth between $100 billion to $140 billion and there are signs that the country’s central bank was trying to use them to prop up the ruble. Meanwhile the U.S. Department of the Treasury issued a notice that prohibited people from the United States from engaging in transactions with the Central Bank of the Russian Federation, the National Wealth Fund of the Russian Federation, and the Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation, including transactions related to gold. The Treasury Department said the ban was issued pursuant to an executive order already signed by President Joe Biden. In addition, the CME Group, which runs the largest US exchange for gold trading, suspended six Russian gold refineries earlier this month.