Russian President Vladimir Putin said countries with large international reserves were putting these to a variety of uses. Asked at a forum for independent regional and local media organizations what effect Western sanctions might have on Russia, Putin touched on the issue of how to dispose of international reserves.

Putin did not say how the Central Bank of Russia planned to invest its reserves, but he did say there was a tendency for countries to diversify that investment. “Too much exposure leads to a certain loss of sovereignty. Take gold and foreign-exchange reserves – some countries with a lot of these reserves, well, they are in fact diversifying them,” he said. Russia’s international reserves grew $4.3 billion to $482.0 billion in the week to April 18, the Central Bank said on Thursday. The reserves stood at $477.7 billion on April 11. They consist of highly liquid financial assets at the disposal of the CB and Russian government, including foreign currency, monetary gold, special drawing rights, the reserve position at the IMF and other reserve assets.