St. Petersburg_ Russia’s sovereign wealth fund will buy gold and slash $40 billion of US currency entirely out of its investment portfolio amid growing tensions with Washington, the country’s finance minister announced on Thursday.
Anton Siluanov said that the National Wealth Fund would reduce its share of dollars to zero within the next month.
Speaking at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, Siluanov said on Thursday the process would be “fast enough” and would mirror a similar move by the country’s central bank to reduce assets held in American currency.
According to the new policy, the share of dollars in the fund will fall from 35% to zero, while assets held in euro and the Chinese yuan will increase to 40% and 30%, respectively. The share of the British pound will halve, from 10% to 5%, while the investment vehicle will buy into gold for the first time, with 20% of its assets to be hedged on the precious metal.
The Kremlin spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, supported the new policy at the forum saying that“the de-dollarization process is constant. It is, in fact, now visible to the naked eye”.
Peskov said the move away from financial dependence on Washington“is taking place not only in our country, but also in many countries around the world, which have begun to experience concerns about the reliability of the main reserve currency”.
In April, the Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Pankin told journalists that political tensions between Washington and other nations were undermining faith in the US Dollar overseas. The imposition of sanctions and an unpredictable American economic policy “call into question the reliability and convenience of using the American currency as the priority currency of deals,” he added.
There is increasing interest in developing alternative mechanisms and the use of other currencies rather than the dollar in world trade has become more attractive, he said.(RT)