Geopolitical risks cost Russian international reserves $40 bln since January - analysts

Russia's international reserves have fallen to their lowest total since mid-2010 after losing another $11 billion in the latest week.

Russia's international reserves have fallen to their lowest total since mid-2010 after losing another $11 billion in the latest week.

The reserves have declined by $40 billion since the beginning of 2014 owing to pressure on the ruble stemming from the Ukraine crisis, analysts at the Interfax-Center for Economic Analysis said.

Russia's international reserves were down $11.1 billion to $471.6 billion in the week ending May 2, the Central Bank reported on Thursday.

The only weekly decline that was larger this year came in the week of January 3-10, when the reserves declined by $11.4 billion. The only other decline in excess of $10 billion came in the week of March 28-April 4: $10.1 billion.

By comparison, the reserves declined by $13.1 billion in the week of May 3-10, 2013.

The pressure on the ruble has compelled the Central Bank to sell foreign currency in order to compensate for capital outflows spurred by the turmoil in Ukraine, the analysts said. The dollar and euro gained roughly 9% against the ruble through the first four months of the year.

The pace of the decline slowed in April, amounting to just $2.3 billion in four weeks that month.

The reserves consist of highly liquid financial assets at the disposal of the Central Bank and Russian government, including foreign currency, monetary gold, special drawing rights, the reserve position at the IMF and other reserve assets.

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