Dollar's decline does not promise financial crisis in Russia

Aleksei Ulyukayev, First Deputy Finance Minister, believes a recent drop in dollar rate is not fraught with a financial crisis in Russia.

A financial crisis is not threatening Russia, assured the deputy minister. The country's gold and foreign currency reserves are not made up of dollars only, he added.

Some 61% of the reserves are secured by gold, said Mr Ulyukayev. Besides, the basket of currencies of Russia's gold and foreign currency reserves contains euros, Swiss franks, British pounds sterling and Japanese yens.

In an interview on the Radio Rossii on Friday Mr Ulyukayev said the Central Bank had been amassing euros in the basket of currencies over 2003. He opined the euro's share could be boosted further. The minister said further diversification of the reserves' currencies would be correct against the background of instability on the world's currency markets.

Mr Ulyukayev recommended that currency savings be placed in the current and strategic portfolios and invested in different currencies.

He said Russians would soon start investing savings in roubles rather than dollars. The rouble is a more payable and safe instrument, the opinion which is shared by all analysts and rating agencies, emphasised the deputy minister.

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