Russia ratifies Brics' $100-bn reserve fund

04 May 2015

The Brics economies' plan to set up a $100-billion reserve fund to address emergency situations had been ratified by president Vladimir Putin, as member nations looked for an alternative to the west-dominated international financial institutions such as the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.

"The accord on the creation of a common reserve fund for Brics countries has been ratified," a document from the Kremlin said as quoted by RIA Novosti news agency.

The Brics nations had signed the agreement for the fund in July 2014. The agreement provides for protecting member nations' currencies against volatility in the global markets by supporting balance of payments.

According to Sergey Ivanov, deputy head of the Russian Federal Council Committee for Budget and Financial Market, the realisation of the agreement would also contribute to the effective protection of the national currencies against the volatility in the world currency markets.

The rift with the west over its Crimea annexation, had seen the Russian currency undergo wide fluctuations, a situation it hopes to shield against with the new fund.

With the new fund, Russia looked to have adequate liquidity, replacing aid from the US dominated IMF and World Bank.

Meanwhile, Russia is set to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Soviet victory over Nazi Germany even as its World War II allies boycott the 9 May event.

President Vladimir Putin would honour the big day in the company of the leaders of China, Cuba and other Moscow-friendly figures.

The number of the former Soviet Union's soldiers killed in WWII is estimated at 27 million, and the Red Army's triumph is seen as a huge matter of pride in Russia.

"It is a day of glory, a day of our people's pride, a day of the highest veneration of a generation of victors," said Putin.

The victory in the 1941-1945 conflict, known in Russia as the Great Patriotic War, had come to take on a cult appeal in recent years, and Putin is accused by critics of co-opting the country's history in the service of personal power.

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