On February 20, 2004 Russia had $86.7 billion in gold and FOREX reserves, reported the Press Department of Public Russian Central Bank.
On February 13, 2004 these reserves were equal to 88 billion dollars. A week later, they decreased by $1.3 billion.
Previously, Russian gold and FOREX reserves decreased on January 2 – more than 1.5 months ago. However, such a big decrease happened last six months ago – on August 22, 2003.
Big decrease of gold and exchange currency reserves resulted from the reduce of purchasing the US dollar by Russian Central Bank in the domestic currency exchange market, and on the other hand, form the big external debt payments.
In February $ 2.7 billion is required to be directed for offsetting Russian external debt. First Deputy Chairman of Banc of Russia Oleg Viyugin predicted inevitable decrease of Russian gold and exchange currency reserve growth tempos.
On January 1, 2003 Russian external debt was equal to $122 billion (35 percent of GDP). By the end of 2003, the sum of the external debt had been reduced.