The Bank of Russia is not going to completely abandon the dollar in its international reserves, said the chairman of the regulator Elvira Nabiullina during a press conference.
“We do not intend to completely abandon the dollar, but nevertheless, the currency structure of reserves reflects all sorts of risks, including non-economic ones,” she said.
At the same time, Nabiullina recalled that the Central Bank has been pursuing the policy of de-dollarization of the Russian economy for a long time. “Our monetary policy, which is aimed at keeping persistently low inflation, supports the de-dollarization of the Russian economy, because often before that people went into foreign currency out of fear of the depreciation of their savings and incomes denominated in Russian rubles. Therefore, in itself, the inflation targeting regime and low inflation should and make the Russian currency more attractive, ”explained the head of the Central Bank.
Nabiullina added that the regulator “takes into account changes” in the structure of the National Wealth Fund (NWF). However, according to her, it accounts for only a fifth of all Russia’s gold and foreign exchange reserves.
On June 3, the Ministry of Finance announced that from May 20 of this year, the dollar was excluded from the structure of the NWF: its share was reduced from 35 to 0%. It was replaced by the Chinese yuan and the euro “as the currencies of countries that are Russia’s leading foreign economic partners”, as well as gold as an asset that protects the NWF’s investments from inflationary risks. The Ministry of Finance substantiated this decision with the intention to ensure the safety of the NWF funds “in the context of macroeconomic and geopolitical trends of recent years”, as well as decisions aimed at “de-dollarization” of the Russian economy.
Yesterday the Ministry of Finance announced that the volume of the NWF increased by 112.6 billion rubles over the month. – up to 13.938 trillion rubles. At the same time, the volume of funds in dollars decreased from $ 39.8 billion to $ 34.8 billion.
The volume of Russia’s international reserves as of June 1 amounted to $ 605.2 billion after $ 590.5 a month earlier. By early summer, the figure exceeded $ 600 billion for the first time since August last year.
Russia’s international reserves are highly liquid foreign assets that are at the disposal of the Central Bank and the Russian government. They are made up of foreign currency assets, monetary gold, special drawing rights (SDRs), a reserve position in the IMF, and other reserve assets.