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Bank of Russia announces the resignation of its Deputy Governor

Mikhail Alekseev, Deputy Governor of the Bank of Russia, will step down from his post on June 1, 2022, ceding it to Sergey Belov, who was previously in charge of the Bank's Main Directorate in the Russian Far East, informs the regulator's press service.

“By the Bank of Russia Governor’s order dated May 12, 2022, Sergey Belov has been appointed Deputy Governor of the Bank of Russia. In this capacity, he will be overseeing the Cash Circulation Department, the Russian Union of Cash Collection Divisions (ROSINCAS), and the Field Institutions Department. Deputy Governor of the Bank of Russia Mikhail Alekseev has decided to further his career outside of the Bank of Russia and will vacate his post on June 1, 2022.”

Earlier, Josep Borrell, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy of the European Union, pointed out that EU member states should consider seizing the Bank of Russia’s frozen foreign exchange reserves as a source of financing for the rebuilding of Ukraine’s postwar economy.

Before the war, Russia accumulated a record $643 billion in gold and forex reserves. By the estimates of Western analysts, two-thirds of this volume has been frozen. However, as the Russian government declared in March, over $300 billion of Russia’s gold and forex reserves were frozen due to sanctions against the Bank of Russia. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov accused the West of stealing these assets from Russia. Meanwhile, State Duma spokesperson Vyacheslav Volodin reassured the public that the amount will be repaid: “They’ll have to give it back. It's state funds.” He also suggested confiscating Russian businesses owned by the nationals of “unfriendly” countries.

The U.S. is also considering a mechanism of using the seized Russian assets to rebuild Ukraine. In April, Janet Yellen, the U.S. Secretary of the Treasury, admitted it was a complex measure that required amending the legislation and a concerted effort of multiple allies.

Another possible source of funding for Ukraine’s rebuilding is the seized private assets of Russian billionaires. This initiative has received support from U.S. president Joe Biden and European Council President Charles Michel.

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