Financial crisis yet to peak: Russia

October 13th, 2008 - 2:44 pm ICT by IANS  

Washington, Oct 13 (RIA Novosti) The global financial crisis has yet to peak and individual governments must now take appropriate measures to deal with its effects, Russia’s finance minister Alexei Kudrin has warned.Kudrin led the Russian delegation in Washington at the Oct 10-13 meetings of world finance leaders.

The Group of Seven (G7) industrial countries comprising the US, Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and Canada, met Friday before participating Saturday in a meeting of the Group of 20, a wider group of developing-emerging markets that includes Russia.

“I believe that the International Monetary Fund and G7 statements at first glance appears to be a common position,” Kudrin told journalists Sunday.

“However, every government must make their own decision, because each government has its own resources, its own central bank. Therefore, every administration must make decisions in accordance with its own situation.”

US President George W. Bush also took part in the G20 meeting.

“It doesn’t matter if you’re a rich country or a poor country, a developed country or a developing country — we’re all in this together. We must work collaboratively,” he said.

The current global credit crunch started in the United States and quickly spread to Asia and Europe, leading to record losses at the financial markets, rising interest rates and a liquidity shortage.

Kudrin said the current financial crisis has mainly so far been reflected in Russia by the outflow of $33 billion of capital in August-September. This, along with a fall in world oil prices, has, he said, been the main reason behind a drop in the country’s gold reserves.

Russia’s international reserves have fallen from around $580 billion to $540 billion in the past two months, the minister said.

“One of the challenges of the global financial crisis is that developing markets have been directly dragged in. We are not untouched by this, we are also participants in this crisis,” he said.

Russia’s lower house of parliament, the State Duma, approved Friday anti-crisis packages worth $86 billion. The government has earmarked $50 billion of budget funds to banks and firms to refinance foreign debt, and some $36 billion to key banks in subordinated loans.

Russia’s two stock exchanges, the MICEX and the RTS, did not open for full trading Friday on advice from the country’s market regulator.

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