Putin: Our foreign exchange reserves in dollars are declining

At an annual media conference (December 20) Russia’s President answered a question about dollarization and weaning the economy off the dollar, presidential web page reported.

In his answer, the President noted, “According to the IMF, payments in dollars have slightly decreased around the world and now are slightly over 62%. But for Russia, this figure is 69%. This is due to the fact that our main export products, primarily oil, are listed on world exchanges in dollars.”

“Our foreign exchange reserves in dollars are declining; only recently, we were holders of American securities quoted in dollars in the amount of $104 bln, now down to $14.4 bln,” he said.

According to the President, “Use of the ruble as a reserve currency in transactions is growing, primarily in transactions between the EAEU countries. Use of the ruble has grown significantly in transactions between Russia and Belarus, reaching almost 70% in clearing transactions.”

“Several issues must be resolved for the ruble to be used as a regional currency. First, cutting volatility. The exchange rate must be stable, and we have generally managed to maintain it recently. We also have to ensure further stability and keep inflation low. Then we have to develop the financial infrastructure for transactions in the ruble and improve the settlement mechanisms between economic parties and financial institutions,” he concluded.

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