Key refining hub sanctions Russian gold
Switzerland, a major global hub for gold refining, has imposed an embargo on the precious metal from Russia, following a similar ban by the EU last month.
“The new measures primarily concern a ban on buying, importing or transporting gold and gold products from Russia. Services in connection with these goods are also prohibited,” reads a press release published on the website of The Federal Council of Switzerland on Wednesday.
Switzerland, which is not a member of the European Union, imposed the restrictions “in line with the EU’s latest sanctions on gold and gold products,” the statement reads.
The EU approved its seventh round of sanctions against Moscow in July in response to Russia’s ongoing military operation in Ukraine. Apart from the restrictions on gold, Switzerland has also frozen the assets of the largest Russian bank, Sberbank.
In May, Switzerland bought three tons or $200 million worth of Russian gold, in what was reportedly the first such purchase since February.
The bullion arrived from the UK, but had a so-called Russian designation of origin, Swiss customs said. According to Bloomberg, that meant the gold was processed for the last time in Russia.
The purchase represented about 2% of Switzerland’s bullion imports in May. The nation is a key refining hub that handles two-thirds of the world’s gold.
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