Russia cuts dependency on US dollar

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Russia is trying to move away from trading in US dollars amid increasingly frosty relations between the two countries.

Russia is increasingly settling trade payments in other currencies in a bid to decrease its dependency on the US dollar, its finance minister and deputy prime minister for the economy has said.

In an interview with TV station Rossiya 1, Anton Siluanov called the dollar a "risky instrument", suggesting the government may begin a sell-off of US treasuries.

"We have decreased to a minimum level and will further cut our investment in the US economy, in US securities," he added.

Mr Siluanov revealed Russia is now settling more foreign trade in roubles, euros and renminbi, but added the country would not be averse to settling oil trade in dollars.

Earlier this month, the US imposed new sanctions on Russia over the case of the former Russian agent attacked with nerve gas in the UK. Senators are currently working on even tougher measures against Moscow.

However, prime minister Dmitry Medvedev has warned that any steps preventing Russian banks from using the dollar - part of a draft legislation - would be tantamount to starting an "economic war".