Russia is considering a plan to buy $70 billion in foreign currency, with the aim of slowing the appreciation of the ruble. On the table is the purchase of yuan and other debts from “friendly” countries. In the long term, Moscow intends to sell everything it has in Chinese currency (the yuan) to finance investment in the country.
This proposal, which was reported by Bloomberg, is among a set of measures aimed at strengthening the Russian economy, at the same time as the country deals with the sanctions imposed by the European Union and the United States, in the wake of the invasion of Ukraine, which are: blocking access to about $ 640 billion of foreign exchange.
For many years, the Kremlin’s economic policy has been to contain budget spending, saving billions of dollars, euros and other foreign currencies. This “protection” will strengthen the economy in times of uncertainty, namely with fluctuations in oil prices. According to informed sources, the plan was initially revealed at a government meeting, which included the head of the Russian Central Bank, Elvira Nabiullina.
“In this new situation, accumulating foreign exchange reserves for future crises is very difficult and does not fit the circumstances,” explains the proposal submission document seen by BBG. The statement, in a rare acknowledgment of the impact of sanctions on the Russian economy, said that “the freezing of $300 billion did not help Russia, on the contrary, it became a weakness and a symbol of a missed opportunity.”
The document also adds that the provision of these funds “is a direct reduction of investments in Russia at the expense of investment in other countries.”
Even buying foreign currency from “friendly” countries is not an easy task: selling the yuan “requires an agreement with China, which is very complicated in a time of crisis”; The UAE dirham is exposed to “significant political risks”, that is, a change of course by the country’s government, and the Turkish lira is very vulnerable to devaluation – this analysis can be read in the presentation given to Russian officials.
However, in the short term, with oil and gas revenues coming to Moscow, where the state has already run a budget surplus this year and with the appreciation of the ruble, the intention is for the Russian state to spend 4.4 billion rubles ($70 billion) in “friendly” currencies, especially yuan.
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