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Putin calls for major expansion of Russian financial markets, cutting use of Western currencies

June 7, 2024 - 21:55 By Reuters
Russian President Vladimir Putin delivers a speech at a plenary session of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum in Saint Petersburg, Russia on Friday. (Reuters-Yonhap)

ST PETERSBURG (Reuters) -- President Vladimir Putin said on Friday Russia needed to cut imports, significantly boost the use of non-Western currencies in trade settlement and called for a major expansion of the country's domestic financial markets.

Putin, speaking at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, said trade with Asia was soaring and that nearly 40 percent of Russian external trade was now in rubles as the share conducted in US dollars, euros and other Western currencies declined.

Putin said Russia would seek to boost the share of settlements conducted in the currencies of BRICS countries -- the group of emerging economies which includes Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

Russia needs to reduce imports by creating competitive production and by boosting investment in fixed assets by 60 percent by 2030, Putin said.

He added that the value of the Russian stock market should double by the end of the decade and amount to two thirds of Russian GDP.