Mar 18, 2023
Russians Held Record $105 Billion in Cash as of February
Russian households held a record 7.33 trillion rubles ($105 billion) in foreign currencies as of Feb. 1, according the Bank of Russia.
The February number is the highest since at least 2018, when these statistics were first disclosed, according to the central bank data. Most of the inflows came in the second half of 2022.
The U.S. and Europe last year banned the shipping of dollar and euro banknotes to Russia following its invasion of Ukraine. Still, those who travel to countries that haven’t joined in on sanctions, such as Turkey, the United Arab Emirates or some former Soviet republics, can carry money to Russia.
“The growth of the cash pile held by the population amid restrictions to withdraw dollars and euros from bank accounts inside Russia means only one thing — the import of banknotes exceeded the export,” Egor Susin, a managing director at Gazprombank Private Banking, told RBC newswire.
READ: Russia Built $80 Billion Offshore Cash Pile in Year of Sanctions
Unprecedented restrictions on the central bank last year blocked some $300 billion of its reserves. Yet Russia was able to save abroad about a third of the $227 billion windfall earned last year from its commodity exports.
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