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Russia Ukraine conflict

Putin is discussing the idea of pegging the ruble to gold: Kremlin

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Russian President Vladimir Putin is discussing with officials the idea of pegging the ruble to gold and other goods, the Kremlin said on Friday.

A powerful Russian security official said this week linking the ruble to bullion could give Russia more “sovereignty” over its financial system, which has been battered by Western sanctions since Moscow sent troops into Ukraine on February 24.

Asked about the idea on a conference call with reporters, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said “this question is being discussed with Putin.”

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Russia produces around 10 percent of the gold mined globally each year and is a major producer of oil, gas, metals and grains.

In what some saw as an attempt to link the ruble with gold, Russia's central bank said in March it would buy gold at a fixed price of 5,000 rubles a gram until June 30.

But two weeks later, after the ruble had strengthened sharply, it backtracked and said it would buy at negotiated prices.

Many currencies have in the past been pegged to gold or silver but the link was severed when the United States in 1971 stopped allowing conversion of dollars to gold.

Nikolai Patrushev, the secretary of Russia’s Security Council and a close Putin ally, said on Tuesday that proposals on pegging the ruble’s value to gold and other goods were being drawn up.

“The most important condition for ensuring Russia’s economic security is reliance on the country’s internal potential,” he said in an interview with government newspaper Rossiyskaya Gazeta.

Asked if these ideas contracted economic theory, Patrushev said “they do not contradict the conclusions of economic science, they contradict the conclusions of Western economic textbooks.”

Read more:

Russian central bank slashes key interest rate again

Russian-controlled southern region of Ukraine will start using ruble, official says

Russia’s Gazprom halts gas supplies to Bulgaria, Poland for failing to pay in rubles

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