Vladimir Putin cannot afford to pay for critical imports such as “food, medicine, a number of other vital goods as he has lost access to $300bn of his reserves, in gold and foreign exchange as the reserves are frozen.
Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said in an interview, “This is about half of these reserves that we had. We have a total amount of reserves of about $640bn about $300bn of reserves are now in a state in which we cannot use them.”
Siluanov added, that part of the gold and foreign exchange reserves, including the National Wealth Fund, are all frozen due to heavy sanctions.
The Finance Minister warned, “We need to pay for critical imports. Food, medicine, a number of other vital goods.
“But – I repeat once again – the debts that we have to pay to countries that have been unfriendly to the Russian Federation and have made such restrictions on the use of gold and foreign exchange reserves – it is in these countries, we will pay the debts in ruble terms.”