22 Sep 2009 11:17

Russia eager to make ruble regional reserve currency - Shuvalov

WASHINGTON. Sept 22 (Interfax) - Russia is proceeding on the premise that the U.S. dollar is currently a very important reserve currency, said First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov.

"Our experts are working in a 'top-20' format in the interest of forming other reserve currencies," Shuvalov told journalists on Monday following meeting at the Russian Embassy in Washington with representatives of U.S. business and political interests.

"The world financial system will feel more certain if other reserve currencies appear besides the dollar," Shuvalov said.

Shuvalov expressed the hope that "the crisis would not interfere with Russia's plans to set the ruble as a regional reserve currency."

He said that Russia's entry into the WTO was a strategic goal. "Our partners in a customs union, Kazakhstan and Belarus, are holding to the same positions," he said.

"Accession to the WTO will happen through the coordination of a customs union. A single team headed by [Maxim] Medvedkov will carry out negotiations," Shuvalov said.

"We are proceeding on the premise that we have a few issues left, which can be solved with the American administration [for WTO entry]. We have prepared for negotiations in Washington within certain parameters and are offering compromises," Shuvalov stressed.