Switzerland imported gold from Russia in May for the first time since February, Bloomberg reported on Tuesday. According to the article, the move suggests that the industry’s stance toward Russian precious metals may be softening.
The country shipped more than three tons of the precious metal from Europe's largest state last month, Bloomberg reported citing data from the Swiss Federal Customs Administration. The purchase represents about 2% of the nation's bullion imports in May. Switzerland is a key refining hub that handles two-thirds of the world’s gold.
Following the start of Moscow’s military operation in Ukraine and the rollout of international sanctions, the London Bullion Market Association suspended all Russian gold and silver refineries from its list of approved suppliers. The move was viewed by the industry as a de facto ban and most refiners refused to accept new gold from Russia.
This comes as the precious metal has been flagged as a possible new target for sanctions against Moscow. According to a Reuters report on Tuesday, EU leaders want to keep up pressure on Russia as they gather for a summit this week.
It is not clear if Switzerland, which is not part of the EU, will comply with the possible ban on Russian gold.
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