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Russia supports inclusion of rouble, yuan and gold in IMF’s SDR currency basket

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Russia supports expanding the International Monetary Fund's Special Drawing Rights (SDR) to include the rouble, the yuan and gold, but sees no chance of the G20 Summit in London accepting a new reserve currency, news agencies cited a Kremlin aide as saying.

"It would be logical for the set of currencies (that make up the SDR) to be expanded, and it could include other currencies, including the rouble, the yuan and perhaps others," state RIA news agency reported the Kremlin's senior economic aide Arkady Dvorkovich as saying.

China this week caused a stir ahead of the April 2 Group of 20 meeting of rich and emerging economies when it suggested the world move towards greater use of the International Monetary Fund's Special Drawing Rights, created by the IMF in 1969 as an international reserve asset.

G20 leaders have made clear that for now the dollar's status as the dominant reserve unit remains, but the idea of creating a new reserve currency system based on SDRs has not entirely been knocked down.
Dvorkovich said he sees no chance of the G20 accepting a new reserve currency next month, but his comments suggest the issue will be in the spotlight at the meeting, where world leaders will discuss ways to combat the global economic crisis.

"We could also think about more effective use of gold and gold and forex reserves in this system," Dvorkovich said. For its part, he added, Russia would support the broad use of the rouble and the yuan as reserve currencies, Itar-Tass reported.

SDRs are defined in terms of a basket of major currencies used in international trade and finance. At present, the currencies in the basket are, by weight, the US Dollar, the Euro, the Yen and Pound Sterling. The amounts of each currency making up one SDR are chosen in accordance with the relative importance of the currency in international trade and finance. The determination of the currencies in the SDR basket and their amounts is made by the IMF Executive Board every five years.

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