Yesterday Russia announced the dramatic news at its own ‘Davos-style’ economic forum in St. Petersburg which is running this week that it will dump the US dollar from its $186 billion National Wealth Fund. As we detailed previously it comes as Washington continues to tighten the sanctions screws on Moscow, blaming it for everything from a series corporate cyberattacks that’s appeared to target American infrastructure to election interference to expansionist aims in Ukraine to cracking down on opposition activists.
On Friday President Vladimir Putin hinted further at the rationale behind what was obviously a retaliatory and defiant we don’t need the US strong bit of messaging from Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov at the forum – who emphasized the day before, “We can make this change rather quickly, within a month”. Putin followed during his address by charging the United States with using the dollar as a tool to “wage economic and political war” on rival countries. Thursday’s prior National Wealth Fund announcement had delineated it will alternately pursue investments in euro, Chinese yuan as well as gold assets.
Putin in his Friday speech hung a further threat over Washington, saying according to Reuters that Russia “may consider settling transactions for oil and gas in other national currencies and the euro.”
And further, “Putin said it would be a serious blow to the US dollar if Russia’s oil companies stopped using the currency, but that Moscow did not want to do that.” Here’s more of his comments addressing this future provocative last-ditch scenario:
Putin also said European nations should pay for Russian gas in euros, as Moscow pursues its de-dollarization efforts amid US sanctions.
“The euro is completely acceptable for us in terms of gas payments. This can be done, of course, and probably should be done,” he said.
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