Downing Street announced on Sunday, the first day of the G7 summit, that the United Kingdom, the United States of America (US), Canada and Japan will impose new restrictions on Russian gold imports in response to the Ukraine invasion.
“These actions will directly attack Russian oligarchy and go to the heart of Putin’s war machine,” said British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who is meeting with leaders of major powers for three days, citing a statement.
“Putin is wasting his scarce resources in this futile and barbaric war. It is feeding his ego at the expense of the Ukrainian and Russian people,” he said, stressing the need to “dry up funding for the Putin regime.”
According to Downing Street, Russia is a major gold producer, with exports worth about € 15 billion by 2021.
The British government has insisted that a ban on gold from London markets, a major financial center for commodity trade, “will have a major impact on Putin’s ability to raise money.”
He said the move would particularly affect Russian elites who bought gold “in an effort to circumvent Western sanctions.”
However, the ban applies only to gold recently mined in Russia, not to gold purchased before the ban.
The UK has imposed some severe sanctions on Russia in the West since the invasion of Ukraine began four months ago, targeting the financial sector, the oil market and dozens of oligarchy, including a total of more than 100 companies and 1,000 people.
The leaders of the G7 (France, United States, United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, Canada and Japan) are meeting in southern Germany today for the first three-day summit, followed by a meeting of NATO (Organization of the North Atlantic Treaty) in Madrid.