Russia works to reduce dependence on dollar

Moscow, Mar 3 (IANS) Russia is working to decrease dependence on the US dollar and strengthen its ruble, Russian Federation Council Speaker Valentina Matviyenko said.

"Both the Central Bank and the government have been pursuing a policy of de-dollarization as instructed by the president in recent years," Matviyenko told RIA Novosti news agency in an interview on Tuesday.

The share of the greenback in Russia's foreign currency reserves is declining and the country's investment in US government obligations has dropped to 1/30 of the level 10 years ago, said the leader of the upper house of the Russian parliament, Xinhua news agency reported.

She clarified that this process is developing steadily and should not be rushed, adding that the policy strongly supported by the Russian parliament will strengthen the country's sovereignty.

"We have recently done a lot to underpin the ruble, increase its attractiveness both for businesses and individuals. This is yielding results with more and more deposits and loans in rubles. Citizens trust this currency," she said.

Despite such efforts, the US dollar will remain in circulation as it continues to be attractive, Matviyenko said.

In the latest move to diversify its investments, the Russian Finance Ministry announced last week that the Chinese yuan and the Japanese yen had been included in the regulatory currency structure of Russia's National Wealth Fund.

The yuan accounts for 15 per cent and the yen 5 per cent of the fund's foreign currency portfolio, while the US dollar and euro have been lowered from 45 per cent to 35 per cent each.



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