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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Currency Reserves 25% Euros

ST. PETERSBURG -- More than a quarter of the nation's foreign currency reserves are in euros, Central Bank Chairman Sergei Ignatyev said Thursday.

At the end of 2002, the percentage of Russia's foreign currency reserves held in euros had doubled from less than 10 percent at the start of the year.

The Central Bank said Thursday that its gold and foreign exchange reserves rose to a new high of $64.7 billion as of May 30.

The Central Bank wants its reserves to better reflect the structure of Russia's foreign debt, its short-term payment schedule and the structure of the world sovereign bond market. Officials have denied that the weakness of the dollar was behind the shift.

"It seems to me that we are at the start of a process of shifting our economy away from the dollar, or, to be exact, shifting it away from hard currency," Ignatyev said.

Presidential economic adviser Andrei Illarionov said Wednesday that the share of euros in Russia's forex reserves was set to rise still further.

(Reuters, MT)