Russian Central Bank   After a two month pause, the Russian Central Bank has once again increased its gold holdings in March by 1 million ounces to a new total of 39.81 million ounces of gold. This is remarkable as most market spectators expected the Russians would almost be done with buying gold as its total amount of foreign assets continued to dwindle due to the low oil prices and the worsening economic situation in Russia. Russia Gold Source The inverse correlation between the total amount of Russia’s foreign reserves and the value of its gold reveals a remarkable phenomenon. Whereas Russia’s gold position represented just 9% of its total reserve assets in February of last year, this ratio has increased to 13.26% as of March (the numbers for April haven’t been officially released yet). Russia Gold Reserves Source This amount will probably continue to increase and we wouldn’t be surprised if Russia would also buy some gold from its Venezuelan friends. Venezuela announced earlier this quarter it was selling 1.4 million ounces of gold to Citigroup as the country is scrambling to get its hands on some US Dollars. Russia and Venezuela have enjoyed a decent relationship in the past as their profound anti-USA behaviour brought both countries closer together. Should Venezuela feel the need to sell more gold, it could call in a favor from Russia or, why not, maybe Citigroup was appointed by Russia to purchase the gold on its behalf, who knows. It’s not just Russia that is buying more gold, its ‘befriended’ countries (read: satellite states, the USSR isn’t really dead) did the same thing. Kazakhstan has increased its gold holdings by 35% in just one year and Belarus also added 70,000 ounces in the last month of the first quarter. This might sound like a marginal amount, but don’t forget in excess of 37% of Belarus’ reserve assets are now kept in physical gold. Putin Xi Parade Source Could these countries be anticipating a potential shake-up in the gold market? China definitely holds the key to the potential fireworks as the country hasn’t disclosed its amount of gold since 2009. We all know the Chinese central bank continued to purchase gold but nobody knows how much  gold China really has. The Chinese obviously aren’t too keen on sharing this information with the world, but their hands might soon be forced to do so. If China is really serious about getting its currency being a part of the SDR basket of the International Monetary Fund, it will very likely have to provide evidence it can keep its currency relatively stable, and having a large amount of physical gold could definitely emphasize the quality of the Yuan. Is it a coincidence Russia started to buy gold again? Is it a coincidence the Chinese and Russian president celebrated the end of the second world war together? Is it a coincidence China has invited Russian troops for its own parade? China Venezuela Source If there’s one thing we’re certain of, it’s that there are no coincidences. Russia, China and Venezuela are big buddies and have been so in the recent past as well (Remember the China-Venezuela trade deal from last year, whereby China wired $4B in exchange for oil and gold) . China’s move to get its Yuan into the SDR basket, Russia’s hunger for gold and Venezuela’s sudden move to move some gold around are too much of a coincidence to be seen as independent actions from the aforementioned countries.   > Click here to read our guide to gold FOR FREE