WASHINGTON: Russian President Vladimir Putin said in an interview with US journalist Tucker Carlson that the use of the US dollar as a foreign policy struggle instrument is one of the biggest strategic mistakes on the part of the US leadership, reported Sputnik.

“You know, to use the dollar as a tool of foreign policy struggle is one of the biggest strategic mistakes made by the US political leadership. The dollar is the cornerstone of the United States’ power. I think everyone understands very well that no matter how many dollars are printed, they’re quickly dispersed all over the world. Inflation in the United States is minimal. It’s about 3 or 3.4 per cent, which is, I think, totally acceptable for the US. But they won’t stop printing. What does the debt of US$33 trillion tell us about? It is about emission. Nevertheless, it is the main weapon used by the United States to preserve its power across the world.

“As soon as the political leadership decided to use the US dollar as a tool of political struggle, a blow was dealt to this American power. I would not like to use any strong language, but it is a stupid thing to do and a grave mistake,“ the Russian president said when asked whether the US dollar is going away as the reserve and universally accepted currency and how sanctions changed the dollar’s place in the world.

“Look at what is going on in the world. Even the United States allies are now downsizing their dollar reserves. Seeing this, everyone starts looking for ways to protect themselves. But the fact that the United States applies restrictive measures to certain countries, such as placing restrictions on transactions, freezing assets, etc., causes grave concern and sends a signal to the whole world,“ Putin added.

He further said that some 80 per cent of Russia’s foreign trade transactions were made in US dollars and euros until 2022, and the US dollar “accounted for approximately 50 per cent of our transactions with third countries,“ but now the dollar’s share in Russia’s transactions is only about 13 per cent.

“We had no such intention. It was the decision of the United States to restrict our transactions in US dollars. I think it is complete foolishness from the point of view of the interests of the United States itself and its taxpayers, as it damages the US economy, undermines the power of the United States across the world,“ Putin said.

By doing so, Washington “probably thought it would lead to full collapse” of Russia’s economy, the president said, adding that “nothing collapsed.”

On the contrary, the president said the share of Russia’s transactions in yuan has risen to “a little over 34 per cent” from 3 per cent, adding that “other countries, including oil producers, are thinking of and already accepting payments for oil in yuan.”

Putin was speaking in Russian during the interview and the quotes are from Carlson’s official translation in English. - Bernama, Sputnik

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