Putin says U.S. is a "parasite" on global economy
Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin accused the United States Monday of living beyond its means "like a parasite" on the global economy and said dollar dominance was a threat to the financial markets.
"They are living beyond their means and shifting a part of the weight of their problems to the world economy," Putin told a Kremlin youth group while touring its summer camp north of Moscow.
"They are living like parasites off the global economy and their monopoly of the dollar."
President Barack Obama 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."
U.S.-Russian relations soured during Vladimir Putin's 2000-2008 presidency but have warmed significantly under President Barack Obama, who took office in 2009 promising a "reset" in bilateral ties.
[Source: Reuters, Lake Seliger, Russia, 01Aug11]
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