The Russian Gold Standard

from Goldcore:

It is becoming increasingly clear that UN Nations are realising that it is very difficult to isolate a country that is already a global power. And not just a global power in terms of the military but also in terms of the world’s dependence on its energy exports.

However, Russia’s energy exports are not the only thing the West benefits from. One little known fact about Russia is that its highest non-energy export is gold, exporting around $15 billion of gold bullion last year.

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Also, when the West really starts annoying Russia, how does Russia respond?

It decides it will find a new way to manage its precious assets, and ensure that it’s to a level respected by its major trading partners, well away from the influence of the US dollar.

One more step in a New World Order?

Russia announced a proposal to create a new international standard for trading in precious metals. The Moscow World Standard (MWS) with the goal of the MWS becoming an alternative to the LBMA.

This proposal is the latest in Russia’s desire to create independence from NATO countries and their associated institutions and currencies.

Moreover, the sanctions against Russia over its invasion of Ukraine continue to mount.

In March the LBMA suspended the accreditation of Russian precious metals refiners. Additionally, at the G7 meeting at the end of June the G7 countries imposed a ban against any Russia-produced gold entering the UK, Canada, US, or Japan.

Gold is Russia’s largest non-energy export estimated to have added around the US $15 billion to the Russian economy in 2021.

With LBMA at the heart of global precious metal trading being located in the UK, this shut Russia out of formal international markets for gold and silver. The additional sanctions also included an asset freeze of the Russian state-owned Sberbank.

Among other sanctions, Russia’s banks were cut off from the SWIFT processing system in March 2022. See our March 3 post titled SWIFT Ban: A Game Changer for Russia?

The mounting sanctions have expedited Russia’s (and other countries such as China, Saudi Arabia) desire to de-dollarize and create systems that do not rely on G7 countries’ institutions. Russia and China have both been very vocal about their desire to elevate the U.S. dollar as the reserve currency.

Moreover, the main problem with this plan is that there is not a solid alternative.

However, proposals of a multi-currency system along with actions such as Russia demanding payment in rubles are chipping away at the US dollar’s role. (For more on Russia’s de-dollarization plan, which includes increased gold reserves see our post from December 9, 2021, titled Russia: A Prominent Player in the Global Gold Market.)

The latest proposal is another of these wedges that will chip away at the institutions in place.

According to press reports, the proposed Moscow World Standard would be a specialized international brokerage headquartered in Moscow.

However, the price-fixing committee would include central banks from the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) which includes Russia, Kazakhstan, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan, and Armenia.

Membership would then be available to large gold players including China, India, Venezuela, and South American Countries such as Peru.

A new gold standard?

Under the MWS system proposal, the price of precious metals is fixed, either at the national level. In each key member countries’ currency or at an aggregate level. This is with a new currency such as the BRICS currency proposed at the BRICS conference also held at the end of June.

A New Currency proposal to rival the U.S. Dollar

The leaders of the five major emerging economies, Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa proposed creating an international reserve currency to rival the U.S. dollar and the IMF’s SDR (Special Drawing Rights).

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