-Gold becomes 'safe harbor' as countries step up ‘dedollarization’ efforts
Countries around the world, in a bid to counter the growing pressure from U.S. sanctions, are increasingly turning to gold as an investment commodity.
According to a report published by the World Gold Council (WGC), the amount of gold purchased by central banks worldwide in 2018 totaled 651.5 tons last year - its highest level since 1971.
The report emphasizes that due to increasing geopolitical and economic uncertainties throughout the year, central banks have diversified their reserves and focused on investing in safe assets.
In 2018, the gold reserves of central banks worldwide increased year on year by 74 percent in 2018 and reached 34 thousand tons.
In line with Russian President Vladimir Putin’s ‘dedollarization policy’, Russia now stands as the country that purchased the most gold in the world in 2018 with 274.3 tons, pushing the country’s gold reserves to reach 2.133 tons as at the end of 2018.
Increasing its gold reserves by 51.5 tons, Turkey became the world's second top buyer of gold after Russia last year.
-Mutual Russia and US withdrawal from Medium Range Nuclear Forces Agreement
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced that his country would withdraw unilaterally from the Medium Range Nuclear Forces Agreement (INF) that was signed in 1987 with the Soviet Union, which prohibits the use of nuclear weapons.
Russia’s response was quick with Putin accusing the U.S. of violating the INF. He said: "Our response will be symmetric. The U.S. announced the suspension of the agreement, we are also suspending it."