Switzerland imported gold from Russia for the first time since Vladimir Putin launched a war against Ukraine, suggesting self-sanctions by some buyers may be easing.

In May, over three tons of gold arrived in Switzerland from Russia, according to data from the Swiss Federal Customs Administration, cited by Bloomberg. This marked the first Russian gold import for the European nation since February.

The move by Switzerland – which owns four major gold refiners – is notable because most buyers stopped importing gold from Russia when the London Bullion Market Association removed the country from its accredited list.

This marked a de facto ban on Russian gold from the London market, but no explicit sanctions were imposed to prohibit the Russian metal from being processed in other nations or at other refineries.

Most buyers have stopped importing gold from Russia

Switzerland recorded almost all the gold it imported last month for refining or other processing, although the four biggest refiners told Bloomberg they did not take the cargo.

Other buyers, meanwhile, remain reluctant to import Russian metals, including palladium. However, Switzerland continued to import palladium from Russia since April, writes Mediafax.

Despite sanctions imposed by Western nations, Russia continues to flex its muscles as a commodity supplier, particularly in the energy sector, as oil and gas revenues roll in.

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