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Russia Blames US for Financial Crisis, Offers to Help

Speaking to international investors at an annual meeting, new Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said the US wouldn't be able to solve the current global economic woes alone. But Russia could help.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev waves

Medvedev said Russia wanted to host an international economic conference this year

Medvedev said at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum on Saturday, June 7, that the gap between the US' leading role in the global economic system and its abilities was one of the "key reasons" for the predicament.

The world lacks investment assets due to disappointment with the ailing US dollar, he said.

Medvedev added that Russia could play a role in stabilizing the situation. The country's domestic economy has boomed over the past decade under his predecessor Vladimir Putin, largely due to soaring prices for its oil exports. Russia is the world's largest producer of gas and second largest exporter of oil.

"Russia is now a global player and understands its responsibility for the fate of the world," said Medvedev, who took office on May 7. "We want to participate in setting out the new rules of the game, not out of imperial ambitions […] but because of our energy resources."

Russian roubles

The rouble would become an important reserve currency, said Medvedev

By liberalizing gas prices and reducing taxes on the oil sector, Russia would help stabilize the energy markets, he added.

Russia hopes to become financial center

Speaking just days after the UN's food crisis summit in Rome, the Russian president addressed the current global food emergency, which has seen rising prices and riots in developing countries in recent weeks.

Drawing on its history as a grain exporter, Russia was prepared to join in efforts to tackle world food shortages, said Medvedev.

He also promised that Russia would soon become a global financial center, with the rouble as an important reserve currency. His country would be ready to host an international finance conference as early as this year, said Medvedev.

Seen as an economic liberal, Medvedev has in the past month launched a number of initiatives to boost the rule of law, fight corruption and ease conditions for small businesses in Russia.

Saturday's speech, his first major economic address, was closely watched for signs of Russia's future economic strategy.

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