Britain, the United States, Japan and Canada will ban new imports of Russian gold as part of efforts to tighten sanctions against Moscow for its invasion of Ukraine, the British government said Sunday.
The ban will come into effect soon and will apply to newly mined or refined gold, the government statement said ahead of a meeting of leaders of the Group of Seven in Germany on Sunday.
The move will not affect previously exported gold of Russian origin, it added.
Russia’s gold exports were worth £12.6 billion ($15.45 billion) last year and wealthy Russians have recently bought precious metals to mitigate the financial impact of Western sanctions, the government said.
“The measures we announced today will hit Russian oligarchs directly and hit the heart of Putin’s war machine,” Prime Minister Boris Johnson said in the statement.
“We need to starve the Putin regime of its funding. The UK and our allies are doing just that.”
The latest initiative follows the suspension of accreditation in March by the London Bullion Market Association (LBMA) for six Russian precious metal refiners.
Separately, a senior US government official said, the Group of Seven Rich Democracies will announce a ban on Russian gold imports on Tuesday, as part of ongoing efforts to hold Russia accountable for its war in Ukraine and block attempts to lift Western sanctions. bypass.