Russian minister reassures US on dollar policy

By AFP

July 15, 2010 Updated Jun 14, 2009 at 9:41 PM CDT

Russia is not planning major imminent policy changes at the expense of its dollar reserves, Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin said Friday after talks with US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner.

"I don't think there will be a change in our policy on the dollar in the near future," Kudrin said on the sidelines of a meeting of finance ministers from the G8 leading world powers in Lecce in southern Italy.

"We are not planning to change significantly the structure of our investments. The structure hasn't changed," Kudrin said, adding that this stance on foreign reserves would not change for "at least a year."

Russia has said it intends to buy up to 10 billion dollars in the International Monetary Fund's first-ever bonds and cut its holding of US Treasury bonds, pushing the dollar lower on global currency markets.

But Kudrin said 10 billion dollars was "not much" compared to Russia's previous position of 100 billion dollars in papers in troubled US mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which it has since cut to zero.

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