US President Joe Biden has said that the United States and other Group of Seven leading economies will ban imports of gold from Russia.
"Together, the G7 will announce that we will ban the import of Russian gold, a major export that rakes in tens of billions of dollars for Russia," President Joe Biden wrote in a Tweet on Sunday.
The measure was initially flagged by Britain as joint action being taken along with fellow G7 members Canada, Japan and the United States.
However, the rest of the G7, which is holding a summit in Germany, will also join in with a formal unveiling of the sanction on Tuesday, a senior US official who spoke on condition of anonymity said.
With its economy already under huge pressure from Western sanctions, the choking off of the gold market will have a significant impact on Moscow, according to G7 officials.
Given London's central role in the international gold trade, "this measure will have global reach, shutting the commodity out of formal international markets," Britain said.
A refuge commodity
"Gold, after energy, is the second largest export for Russia and a source of significant revenue for (President Vladimir) Putin and Russia," the US official said.
They added that the blocking of Moscow's gold sector "will further isolate Russia from the global economy."
According to the White House, Russia accounted for about five percent of all gold exports in 2020 and 90 percent of Russia's output went to G7 countries, mostly to Britain.
Officials say that cumulatively all the sanctions are slowly but surely starting to eat deep into Russia's economy and Putin's longterm ability to continue the offensive in Ukraine, which is now in its fifth month.
Worth $15.5 billion (12.6 billion pounds) to the Russian economy in 2021, gold is also a refuge commodity in times of turmoil.
Russian oligarchs are believed to have rushed to hide their assets from Western sanctions enforcers by converting to the precious metal.
The London Bullion Market had already suspended six Russian refineries in action announced on March 7.