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US senators seek to freeze Russian gold reserves

US senators seek to freeze Russian gold reserves

Washington, March 8 (Prensa Latina) A bipartisan group of senators on Tuesday proposed to freeze Russia´s gold reserves as part of the Russian special operations in Ukraine.
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The bill by Sens. John Cornyn (R-Texas), Bill Hagerty (R-Tenn.) and Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.) seeks to prevent the use of Russia´s gold assets as a way to get around the rest of restrictions applied by Washington and its Western allies.

The main goal is to apply secondary punitive measures to American entities that intentionally transacted with or transported gold from Russia’s central bank holdings. Americans would also be subject to sanctions if they sold gold physically or electronically in Russia. Today, Russia holds $130 billion in gold reserves in the country and is able to exploit a loophole in the existing sanctions targeting its central bank by allowing government officials and oligarchs to launder money through gold, according to the senators, The Hill reported.

On Tuesday, following pressure from Congress, President Joe Biden announced a ban on imports of Russian oil, natural gas and coal, despite the impact on rising fuel prices globally.

The crackdown on Russia pushed domestic issues off US politicians´ agenda, where congressional leaders reached an agreement to provide Kiev with a nearly $14Bn package for “military and humanitarian aid.”

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