jg – March 31, 2009
Russia, China Cooperate on New Currency Proposals
Mar 30 02:35 PM US/Eastern
Russia and China are coordinating proposals on a new global currency that could replace the US dollar as a reserve currency to prevent a repeat of the global economic crisis, the Kremlin said on Monday.
"We have received proposals from our colleagues in China, detailed proposals," President Dmitry Medvedev's top economic adviser Arkady Dvorkovich said. "Our positions are very similar.
"We have similar positions on the development of the international financial architecture," he told reporters.
Ahead of the Group of 20 summit in London later this week, the Kremlin has published a raft of proposals to overhaul the global economic order, including plans for a supra-national currency that could replace the US dollar.
China has come forward with similar ideas.
US President Barack Obama has said he does not see why the dollar should be replaced and British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said the summit would have more immediate issues to discuss.
"So far, not everybody is ready for that," acknowledged Dvorkovich. "We will insist on that at all levels."
Medvedev has said the international community should have a say when the world's richest countries make decisions with global implications, as in the US financial crisis, sparked by the collapse of the market for subprime or higher risk mortgages.
Moscow also understood however, that many countries were not ready to undertake additional "political obligations," said Dvorkovich, expressing hope that major economies would at least be open to consultations on the subject.
Dvorkovich said he hoped Russia and other major developing economies would also get an equal say and the attention they deserve during the G20 meeting.
"We are hoping that our voice will be heard but I would like to stress that we do not have a desire to pit our voice against that of our partners," he said, referring to developing economies Brazil, India and China who join Russia in what is known collectively as 'BRIC.'
"There will be no separate joint (BRIC) communique, nor should there be," Dvorkovich said. "This is the summit of the leaders of the G20 countries."
Critics have suggested China and the United States, whose economies are closely intertwined, would likely steal the show by promoting their own agenda and turning the G20 forum into a 'G2' summit.
Dvorkovich said the US and China would have ample time to discuss bilateral issues on the summit's sidelines.
Separately, Dvorkovich said Medvedev would meet Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd on April 1, just before the summit. Medvedev was also scheduled to meet US President Barack Obama, China's Hu Jintao and Britain's Brown that day.