Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin answered questions about the U.S. debt crisis during a visit to the pro-Kremlin youth group Nashi in which he stated, “They are living beyond their means and shifting a part of the weight of their problems to the world economy.”
He also said, “They are living like parasites off the global economy and their monopoly of the dollar.”
While both of these statements carry some merit, one must realize that Putin is playing the early campaign strategy.
US President Barack Obama earlier announced a last-ditch deal to cut about $2.4 trillion from the U.S. deficit over a decade, avoid a crushing debt default and stave off the risk that the nation’s AAA credit rating would be downgraded.
The deal initially soothed anxieties and led Russian stocks to jump to three-month highs, but jitters remained over the possibility of a credit downgrade.
“Thank god,” Putin said, “that they had enough common sense and responsibility to make a balanced decision.”
But Putin, who has often criticized the United States’ foreign exchange policy, noted that Russia holds a large amount of U.S. bonds and treasuries.
“If over there (in America) there is a systemic malfunction,this will affect everyone,” Putin told the young Russians.
“Countries like Russia and China hold a significant part of their reserves in American securities … There should be other reserve currencies.”