Expert comments on Russia's reserves

In February 2001 Russia lost from $15bn to $17bn due to the difference in currency rates, Russian Presidential Advisor Andrey Illarionov said yesterday. At present the volume of Russia's gold and currency reserves is $60bn, including $50bn in US currency. The dollar has become 30 percent cheaper against the Euro since February 2001. So the purchasing power of these $50bn is equal to $34bn. "The accumulated reserve is impressive, however the real cost of this reserve is considerably lower", the Advisor stressed. If Russia had not accumulated its reserves but had paid off its foreign debts using the favorable conjuncture, Russia's foreign debts would be $90bn, not $120bn at present. Illarionov specified that Russia should have used "expensive dollars" to pay off debts in European currencies.

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