Prime Minister Vladimir Putin visits the central depository of Russia’s Central Bank, which holds two-thirds of the country’s gold and foreign exchange reserves
24 january 2011
At the central depository located in downtown Moscow, the prime minister toured the storage facilities for currency reserves and observed the process of control weighing and packing precious metals.
The Central Bank’s Deputy Chairman Georgy Luntovsky told the prime minister that the currency distribution system includes 608 cash processing centres and almost each of them has a storage facility. The central depository has an area of 17,000 square metres with 1,500 square metres occupied by the stored reserves.
In addition to gold bars kept in plastic and wooden cases, an emergency stock of banknotes is stored. A standard gold bar weighs between 10kg and 14 kg, and small bars weigh between 100g and 1,000 g. The majority of Russia’s gold reserves is stored in standard bars.
Mr Luntovsky assured the prime minister that the central depository uses only the most advanced security systems. No security breaches have ever been registered at this depository.
The bank’s deputy chairman also told the prime minister that the depository held only new bank notes that had not yet been in circulation. Worn-out and damaged bank notes are disposed of at a number of cash processing centres.
After that the prime minister inspected a sealed box with gold bars at the precious metals storage facility. In response to Mr Putin’s question on the main sources of the gold, Mr Luntovsky said that they bought the gold from commercial banks, citing Nomos Bank, VTB and MDM Bank as key partners.
Mr Putin became Russia’s first prime minister to visit the central depository. No other government leaders had ever visited the central depository before.