Russia stockpiles $80b of offshore cash surplus amidst sanctions
According to Bloomberg Economics estimates, Moscow accumulated overseas cash reserves of around $80 billion in 2022 – around a third of its commodities export windfall – with one UK-based analyst blaming the West’s delay in targeting the Russian energy sector.
“The Kremlin was able to accumulate one of the largest current-account surpluses in its history,” said Maria Shagina of the International Institute for Strategic Studies.
“This has de facto negated the effect of freezing the Central Bank assets in March 2022, as Russia could recoup what it lost.”
Western sanctions have seized some $300 billion of foreign assets belonging to the Russian Central Bank.
It forecasts that its account surplus will drop to $66 billion this year, $48 billion in 2024, and $41 billion in 2025.