$100 billion U.S Treasury withdrawal could signal Russian sanctions

Did Russia just take $100 billion out of the U.S Treasury?

By Staff Writer

RUSSIA (INTELLIHUB) —A record $100 billion in withdrawals of Treasury bills is raising speculation that the Russian government is pulling their money out of the United States to avoid upcoming sanctions over Ukraine, the New York Post reported.

The total amount of foreign-held US Treasury securities dropped to $2.86 trillion, the lowest in over a year. Last year, the most moved out in a week was $32 billion.

Analysts said that if the switch was made by Russia, it would represent about 80 percent of that nation’s US Treasury holdings.

“This is only speculation on our part, but it seems likely that the Russian authorities had more than $100 billion of Treasury debt in custody at the Fed, and it doesn’t seem implausible that they moved it to a jurisdiction where it would be less vulnerable to a US asset freeze,” Lou Crandall at Wrightson ICAP LLC told The Wall Street Journal.

“Russia is aware of its responsibility for the lives of compatriots and fellow citizens in Ukraine and reserves the right to take people under its protection,” the Russian ministry said.

After his meeting at the US embassy in London, Russian Secretary of State Lavrov declared: “We have no common vision of the situation. Everyone understands — and I say this with all responsibility — what Crimea means to Russia.”