Moscow [Russia], January 23 (ANI): Despite sanctions on Russian goods following its invasion of Ukraine in mid-2022, imports of gold by China from Russia increased, data released by the country's customs agency on Saturday showed, Russia-based television network Russia Today (RT) reported.
In 2022, China bought a total of 6.6 tons of Russian gold worth a record USD 386.9 million, including shipments in both unprocessed (3.7 tons) and semi-processed form (2.9 tons).
Gold shipments from Russia to China in the month of December 2022, totalled 220.2 kilograms, worth USD 14.85 million. Russian gold exports to China in 2022 soared by 67.3 per cent in physical terms and by 63.3 per cent in monetary terms compared to 2021.
However, so far Russia's share in Chinese gold purchases remains small. The main supplier of gold to China is Switzerland, with sales in 2021 totalling over USD 34 billion. Rounding out, the top five suppliers to China are Canada, South Africa, Australia, and Hong Kong, RT reported.
Due to western sanctions, Russian gold exports began to fall in mid-2022. Purchase, import or transfer, directly or indirectly, of gold originating in Russia and exported from the country, was banned by the EU, UK, US, Japan, and Canada.
The UK was the largest buyer of Russian gold prior to the imposition of sanctions. In 2021, the UK acquired 266.1 tons of the metal (88 per cent of total exports), worth USD 15.4 billion.
The European Commission in July 2022, adopted a proposal for a seventh package of measures that will ban the import of Russian gold.
The proposal was part of a new set of measures intended to improve the implementation and effectiveness of the EU's six earlier packages of sanctions against Russia.
The proposal was issued jointly by the Commission and the High Representative for Foreign Affairs.
"...We are proposing today to tighten our hard-hitting EU sanctions against the Kremlin, enforce them more effectively and extend them until January 2023. Moscow must continue to pay a high price for its aggression," had said European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen in a statement. (ANI)