Last year, the Russian Federation created “shadow reserves” worth $80 billion – mass media

Last year, the Russian Federation created “shadow reserves” worth  billion – mass media

Russia was able to keep abroad about 80 billion dollars received last year from raw material exports, which could potentially become a new target for sanctions.

This is stated in the material Bloomberg.

According to the publication’s estimates, the Russian Federation was able to keep about a third of the 227 billion dollars received last year from the export of raw materials, or about 80 billion dollars. These funds are “scattered” in the form of cash, real estate and investments in affiliated companies abroad.

In fact, the funds are shadow reserves of the Russian Federation and a byproduct of the record balance of payments current account surplus that helps Russia finance its war against Ukraine.

“Due to Europe’s delay in imposing sanctions on the Russian energy sector, the Kremlin was able to accumulate one of the largest positive current account balances in its history,” says Maria Shagina, an economist at the International Institute for Strategic Studies in Britain. “This de facto nullified the effect of the Central Bank’s asset freeze in March 2022, as the Russian Federation was able to recover what it had lost.”

Any new profits accumulated abroad can become an attractive target for sanctions, especially if the funds are controlled by the state. The government is a shareholder in many of Russia’s largest exporters, which contributed to last year’s surplus profits. At the same time, the question arises as to where this money ended up and who controls it.

In accumulating international assets last year, Russia added an amount equivalent to about 5% of its gross domestic product (GDP).

Even if foreign governments are able to identify the owners of new Russian funds abroad and link them to the state, the total is likely to be less than official estimates.

While Russia’s net purchases of foreign assets totaled $107 billion last year, according to the Central Bank of the Russian Federation, Bloomberg estimates that figure is likely overstated by about $21 billion.

To arrive at this figure, Bloomberg adjusted the total for spending on tourism, the purchase of a shadow fleet of oil tankers and the outflow of funds associated with Russians opening accounts in foreign banks.

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