The gold and foreign currency reserves of the Central Bank have increased for the first time in the past three weeks. The PR Department of the Central Bank of Russia reported that the volume of Russia's gold and foreign currency reserves reached $36.2 billion as of December 14. Accordingly, the volume of the reserves had increased for the first time since November 23. At the same time, the volume of the growth turned out to be insignificant, reaching only $100 million. Such a low rate of growth in the foreign currency reserves was reported only four times this year; moreover, last time it took place on September 28, i.e. two and a half months ago. Since during the period from November 23 until December 7 the volume of the gold and foreign currency reserves reduced by $2.5 billion, a substantial decrease in the volume of the reserves by $2.4 billion took place during the period between November 23 and December 14 in general, despite the increase by $100 million. As a result, the volume of the gold and foreign currency reserves has practically returned to the level of the end of July, since it amounted to $36.2 billion as of July 27, which is equal to the corresponding figure for December 14. Therefore, the four-month growth in the gold and foreign currency reserves from August until November has been practically offset by their sharp fall during only two weeks. It is not surprising that the State Duma has included the question of making a parliamentary request to Central Bank Chairman Viktor Gerashchenko to clarify the reasons for the decline in the gold and foreign currency reserves on the agenda of its plenary meeting today. The request was initiated by Duma Budget and Tax Committee Deputy Chairman Mikhail Zadornov, who earlier was the finance minister of Russia.