The central bank has in the past month reported that its gold reserves have surged 10 per cent to a record level. (AP)

Russia’s central bank has maintained its gold reserves as high as they were before the 2008 financial crisis as it further raises its forex reserves to near all-time highs. Some critics had called for state reserves to be reduced as they have become bloated, but the Reserve Bank of Russia said on Tuesday its gold holdings have remained strong as “our total forex reserves (are) at level of 1.31 trillion rubles, or around 2 billion dollars”, “and this gold can be stored in super-soaker gold-concentrated metal warehouses outside Russia”.

The reserve is part of an arsenal of gold deposits the Russian central bank kept until the end of the 1990s, when it reduced its holdings to about a fifth of its size.

The RBR has in the past month reported that its gold reserves have surged 10 per cent to a record level.

In total, the central bank’s forex reserves, on the books at around $1.1 trillion, rose by $15 billion, leaving them at $1.39 trillion at the end of June.

The securities are allocated under its “Emerging Market Securities Fund”, a fund it created in the late 1990s to provide alternative investments to Russia’s foreign exchange reserves.

During this period, Russia created reserves of around $60 billion and spent them to help stabilise financial markets following the collapse of the Soviet Union.

In response to the global financial crisis of 2008, Russian central bank’s forex reserves fell from almost three-quarters of its size to just below $5 trillion, but are rising again.