The Senate has teed up a magnificent bill that will stop those nefarious Russians from selling their gold for dollars. There’s one little problem: the Russians don’t want dollars, they want to hold on to their gold and add to it. From Ronan Manly at BullionStar.com via zerohedge.com:
When the UK, US and EU moved to introduce financial sector sanctions against Russia during the week of 21 – 25 February, one set of markets notably hesitant to join the fray were the OTC precious metals markets in London and by extension the precious metals futures markets run by the COMEX.
Awaiting Instructions – LBMA and COMEX
While the London Bullion Market Association (LBMA) quietly moved to kick out Russian banks VTB, Sovcombank, and Orkritie from LBMA membership sometime around 24 – 25 February (and without any sort of announcement), the LBMA appeared to be unable to come to a decision about the 6 LBMA-accredited Russian precious metals refineries on the LBMA Good Delivery Lists of Gold and Silver. This was despite the fact that it was completely obvious that the structural nature and operational activities of these Russian refineries broke the LBMA’s own ‘Good Delivery Rules’ in terms of breaching US-UK-EU sanctions.
Specifically, these six Russian refineries are Krastsvetmet, Prioksky, Novosibir, Uralelectromed, Moscow Special Alloys Plant, and Shyolkosky.
Hence the BullionStar article on 28 February titled “LBMA a deer in headlights as Western Sanctions show up Russian Gold Refiners”.
That article also pointed out that every LBMA accredited gold and silver refinery is also on the CME (COMEX) approved brands list (for warranting and delivery), a situation which arose following a CME mass approval in August 2020 of 267 LBMA Good Delivery List gold and silver refineries. Which meant that the 6 Russian precious metals refiners in question were also on the COMEX approved refiner brands list.
As the week beginning 28 February passed, the LBMA’s continued reluctance to be decisive was revealed when on Thursday 3 March Reuters published an article stating that the LBMA claimed it had merely ‘asked’ the 6 Russian refineries in question whether they have commercial links with sanctioned Russian entities, a bizarre situation given that all and sundry, and most of all the LBMA, knows the nature of the Russian gold market, and that of course the Russian refineries have intimate relationships with the sanctioned Russian banks as well as being owned by the Russian state / Russian oligarchs.