PUTIN: RUSSIA HAS INCREASED GOLD AND CASH RESERVES AS REAL ECONOMY GROWS AT 3.1%

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Russia is financially stable despite sanctions, President Vladimir Putin told a meeting with central bank officials on Tuesday. Higher reserves and declining dependence on oil are the key factors, according to the Russian leader.

“The stock market has remained steady thanks to the joint actions of the government and the Central Bank. Our foreign exchange reserves have increased by 5.7% since the beginning of this year and are already at $459 billion,” Putin said.

The central bank and the government have been working together to reduce Russia’s dependence on oil, reflecting lower inflation and a more stable ruble, Prime Minister Sergey Shvetsov said.

Russian foreign reserves consist of foreign currency, special drawing rights (SDR), reserve position in the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and gold. They reached their highest level before the global crisis of 2008, reaching $598 billion.

The economy also shows growth, Putin noted. “Overall, Russia’s economy is generally positive, with industrial growth for eight months at 3.1%, including industrial production, which grew by 3.8%,” he added.

Putin also observed consistently low inflation and unemployment. “In August, unemployment fell to 4.6%, which is a record low, and inflation in September was 3.4%.”

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This comes as Putin signed a decree approving Russia’s up-to-date policy of nuclear and radiological safety until 2025 and beyond. It will be implemented within 3 months.

Published on the official website of Moscow for legal information on Monday, Putin signed the decree in effect last Saturday.

The document outlines the security policy for nuclear and military installations, minimizes the risks of personnel stationed at those facilities and increases the liability of nuclear power institutions.

The new legislation replaces the nuclear safety strategy approved in 2012 and instructs the Russian government to approve a plan for the implementation of the document within three months.

Revealing the new arsenal earlier this year, Putin warned that failure to modernize its nuclear deterrent would expose Russia to US military pressure.

“In the end, if we did nothing, it would make Russian nuclear potential useless,” Putin said.

“They could simply intercept everything,” the president added on US military resources deployed in allied states along Russia’s borders.

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