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Tuesday, August 2, 2011

U.S. DEBT CRISIS: Putin says U.S. is "parasite" on global economy!

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By Maria Tsvetkova, LAKE SELIGER, Russia / Mon Aug 1, 2011 5:45pm EDT / reuters.com.

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin answers questions from the audience during his visit to the summer camp of the pro-Kremlin youth group ''Nashi'' at lake Seliger, some 400km (248miles) north of Moscow, August 1, 2011. REUTERS/Mikhail Metzel/Pool
Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin answers questions from the audience during his visit to the summer camp of the pro-Kremlin youth group ''Nashi'' at lake Seliger, some 400km (248miles) north of Moscow, August 1, 2011.
Credit: Reuters/Mikhail Metzel/Pool.

(Reuters) - 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 the pro-Kremlin youth group Nashi while touring its lakeside summer camp some five hours drive north of Moscow.

"They are living like parasites off the global economy and their monopoly of the dollar," Putin said at the open-air meeting with admiring young Russians in what looked like early campaigning before parliamentary and presidential polls.

US President Barack Obama earlier 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 ties soured during Putin's 2000-2008 presidency but have warmed significantly since his protégé and successor President Dmitry Medvedev responded to Obama's stated desire for a "reset" in bilateral relations.

EARLY CAMPAIGNING?

Casually dressed in khaki trousers and a striped white shirt, Putin flew by helicopter to the tented camp as part of a string of appearances that are being closely watched in the run-up to the elections.

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