China took second place; its Central Bank purchased about 320,000 ounces of gold in February, according to Chinese Central Bank officials.
Meanwhile, it was reported last week that between March 11 and March 18, the value of Russia's gold reserves rose by $5.8 billion, from $381.1 billion to $386.9 billion.
With a seven-day period, Russia increased its gold and foreign exchange reserves by 1.5 percent. From March 1, the reserves rose by 1.7 percent, from $380.5 billion.
The country's international reserves include securities, foreign exchange cash, IMF special drawing rights, monetary gold, and a number of other assets.
Gold is considered to be a buffer against external economic risks and is currently in favor in Russia, one of the world's largest oil exporters, which was hit by a slump in global oil prices.
Gold reserves were used by the country's Central Bank to support the ruble exchange rate. In November 2014, the bank allowed the ruble to trade freely and stopped selling bullion. In November 2014, the value of Russia's gold reserves reached $510.5 billion.