Bloomberg: Russia collects $80 billion worth of assets abroad in 2022


Russia succeeded in retaining about a third of its abundant total revenues resulting from the rise in oil and natural gas prices over the past year, valued at $227 billion abroad, despite Western sanctions against it since the Russian invasion of Ukraine in late February 2022.

According to estimates by Bloomberg, Russia has held about $80 billion abroad in the form of cash, real estate or investments in offshore companies.

These funds represent a shadow reserve of foreign exchange for Russia, resulting from the record surplus of Russia’s current account during the past year, which also contributed to financing the ongoing Russian war against Ukraine.

Maria Shagina, an economic analyst at the International Institute for Strategic Studies in Britain, said, “Because of Europe’s delay in tightening sanctions on the Russian energy sector, the Kremlin was able to achieve one of the largest current account surpluses in its history, and this led to the nullification of Western decisions to freeze the assets of the Russian Central Bank in March 2022, when Russia was able to overcome its losses”.

This comes at a time when data from the Russian Customs Administration showed that the rise in global oil prices helped Russia achieve a trade surplus of $332.4 billion last year.

The volume of exports increased by 19.9% ​​to reach $591.5 billion, while imports contracted by 11.7% to $259.1 billion in the same period, according to the customs authority announced on Monday.

As a result, Russia’s trade surplus grew by 68% compared to 2021.

The rise in petroleum prices helped Russia remain able to increase revenues generated from the sale of crude oil and its products by 42% last year, despite the war in Ukraine.

Meanwhile, the international sanctions imposed on Russia as a result of its war on Ukraine restricted the volume of imports.

Moscow releases its data only partially as a result of the sanctions.

The purpose of the release of the data on the part of the customs authority appears to be to underscore the country’s ability to deal with the status quo.

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