UK, US, Japan and Canada will lead G7 to ban import of Russian gold, the country’s biggest non-energy export.

New exports of Russian gold will no longer be allowed to 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.


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