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MOSCOW, March 22 (Itar-Tass) - Russia's gold and foreign exchange reserves plunged by 2.3 billion dollars (or by 0.45 percent) from 507.7 billion dollars to 505.4 billion dollars on March 9-16, the External and Public Relations Department of the Central Bank said on Thursday.
The level of gold and foreign exchange reserves totaled 498.649 billion dollars as at January 1.
Foreign exchange and gold reserves are external assets controlled by the monetary authorities and may be used for financing balance-of-payments deficits, for interventions in currency markets affecting the national currency's rates or for similar purposes.
Foreign exchange and gold reserves are highly liquid foreign assets at the disposal of the Bank of Russia and the Russian government on a certain date. They comprise monetary gold, Special Drawing Rights, reserves with the International Monetary Fund, and foreign currency.