“Russia is making a strategic shift in its reserves towards holding fewer dollars and more assets in other currencies,” said Benn Steil, director of international economics at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York.
The data reveal a dramatic acceleration in a policy Russia has been pursuing for several years of reducing exposure to assets that could be affected by U.S. restrictions. Tough sanctions on major Russian companies in early April hammered the ruble and spurred fears that more restrictions could follow, such as measures to cut Moscow off from global payment systems. Russian holdings of U.S. Treasuries dropped by about $81 billion in May and June, according to U.S. data.
Russia shifts $100bn of its reserves into yuan, yen & euro in a great dollar dump
The share of the US currency in Russia’s international reserves portfolio has dramatically decreased in just three months between March and June 2018, from 43.7 percent to a new low of 21.9 percent, according to the Central Bank’s latest quarterly report, which is issued with a six-month lag.