MOSCOW, March 13. /TASS/. Half of the gold and foreign exchange reserves of the Bank of Russia have been frozen due to sanctions, Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said in an interview with the Rossiya 1 TV channel.
"This is about half of these reserves that we had. We have a total amount of reserves of about $640 bln. Currently we cannot use about $300 billion of these reserves," he said.
The minister added that part of the Russian foreign exchange reserves is in Chinese currency. However, Western countries are now putting pressure on China in order to limit trade with it.
"Of course, there is pressure to limit access to those reserves that we have in yuan. I think that our partnership with China will allow us to maintain the cooperation that we have achieved, and not only to maintain, but also to multiply it in conditions when Western markets are closed," Siluanov said.
The minister reiterated that the debts of countries that were unfriendly to Russia would be paid in rubles.
"But - I repeat once again - the debts that we have to pay to the countries that are unfriendly to the Russian Federation and have made such restrictions on the use of foreign exchange reserves, it is to these countries that we will pay debts in ruble equivalent," he stressed.