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"Russia wants to launch a new precious metals market standard as an alternative to the London Bullion Market Association (LBMA). This is stated in a letter from the Russian ministry that came into the hands of news agency RIA Novosti this week.

The new standard will be called Moscow World Standard (MWS) and will include a precious metals trading platform in addition to a quality seal. With this, Russia aims to launch a full-fledged and international alternative to the London gold market.

Quote: "To normalise the functioning of the precious metals industry, it is crucial to create an independent international infrastructure that is an alternative to the LBMA in terms of functions. It is proposed to base the structure on a specialised international precious metals exchange headquartered in Moscow using the new international MWS standard."


It is worth noting that Russia also wants to promote this new platform in an international and monetary context. We have to rely here on an automatic translation from Russian, which suggests that the country wants to establish price agreements for the national currencies of key BRICS countries and that possible "new units of international settlement" are needed. Russian President Vladimir Putin is also said to have previously suggested the latter in the BRICS context. From the letter:

Quote : "Use should be made of price settlements in the national currencies of key member states, or new units of international settlement, such as the new unit of settlement within the BRICS organisation proposed by the Russian president."

It is speculation, of course, but this could be the start of a system in which countries could use their gold reserves as a tool to settle the trade balance. This could create a fundamental shift in the international monetary landscape and put gold back at the centre of the monetary system.


This new proposal by Russia follows an earlier decision by the LBMA to revoke the accreditation of six Russian smelters. As a result, Russian smelters can no longer offer gold on the London gold market and their gold bars are less tradable internationally. For instance, some Swiss smelters have already become more cautious about remelting Russian gold bars.

The European Union also imposed restrictions on trade in Russian gold. The latest package of sanctions states that EU member states can no longer import gold from Russia. This removed an important outlet for Russian gold. This prompted Russia to introduce an alternative trading platform and its own hallmark.

From the Russian ministry's letter:

"Despite a leading position in precious metals production, Russian producers have until recently followed the standards set by the LBMA. However, due to the current international climate, the LBMA licences of all companies in the sector in Russia were revoked in spring 2022. This effectively cripples their operations and is a critical negative factor jeopardising the survival of the industry in Russia."


Russia is the world's second largest gold producer after China, with an annual gold mining production of 343 tonnes. In addition, the country is a major producer of platinum and palladium, precious metals used mainly by the automotive industry. In total, Russia's precious metals sector with all its mines, smelters and gold banks accounts for a turnover of about $25 billion a year. Much Russian gold in recent years went to London's gold vaults, where most Western ETFs hold their gold stocks. Due to sanctions, Russia is now exporting more gold to other outlets such as the Middle East, India and China. The country has also scrapped VAT on investment gold to further develop its internal gold market.


Every time the West takes a measure against Russia, Putin agitates like a top strategist : " you exclude us from this or that and/or you ban us from this or that ? Ok, then we will build our own system that is better,safer and even more performing than yours and saw the legs out from under your chair ". Successfully every time.

It gives people ideas.

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