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MOSCOW, February 06, 22:05 /ITAR-TASS/. Russia’s gold and foreign exchange reserves (or the national reserve assets) went up by 2.2 billion U.S. dollars over a week from January 25 through February 1, 2014, to stand at 498.9 billion U.S. dollars, according to the External and Public Relations Department of the Central Bank.
Since January 23, the Central Bank’s currency intervention in support of the Russian rouble exchange rate has grown to stay above 400 million U.S. dollars over a trading session. In some days, a speculative demand for dollars and euros raised the interventions to more than one billion U.S. dollars. In particular, on January 30, 2014, the Central Bank’s currency sales reached 64.27 billion roubles (about 1.83 billion U.S. dollars), thus hitting the maximum of September 2011. Moreover, the Bank’s currency interventions were at about 5.2 billion U.S. dollars on January 27-30, when the pressure on the Russian rouble exchange rate was particularly intensive.
Over the preceding week (January 18 - January 24, 2014), the national reserves went down by 2.1 billion U.S. dollars, and stood at 496.7 billion U.S. dollars.
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. 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.
As of January 1, 2014, the Russian gold and foreign exchange reserves amounted to 509.6 billion U.S. dollars.