European country stockpiles Russian gold – Bloomberg

Swiss purchases have jumped to their highest level since 2020 despite sanctions

Switzerland ramped up purchases of Russian gold last month to the highest amount in more than two years, Bloomberg reported on Tuesday.

A major global refining hub, the country imported about 5.7 tons of the metal, worth $324 million, in August, the most since April 2020, Bloomberg reports, citing data from the Swiss Federal Customs Administration.

The shipment of Russian bullion arrived from the UK, it quoted customs administration as saying, explaining that Swiss customs data shows the last place the gold was refined, rather than where it was last shipped from.

In early August, Switzerland joined an EU embargo banning purchases, imports or the transport of gold and gold products from Russia, as well as all related services.

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Gold plummets to two-year low

However, bars exported from Russia before the embargo was introduced are not subject to the restrictions. According to Bloomberg, more old bullion from Russia may be remelted in Switzerland to make it easier to sell.

In May, Switzerland bought three tons, or $200 million-worth, of Russian gold, in what was reportedly the first such purchase since February.

Russia is the world’s second-biggest gold miner after China, according to World Gold Council, and one of the top global exporters of the precious metal.

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