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World News
China Offers Russia Ruble Help
From the Wall Street Journal of Mon, 22 Dec 2014 06:21:01 EST
A Russian one ruble coin on a one dollar note.
A Russian one ruble coin on a one dollar note. European Pressphoto Agency

BEIJING—China says it is willing to provide assistance to Russia following recent sharp drops in the value of its currency, said a senior official, as President Vladimir Putin ’s regime faces continuing strains with the U.S. and Europe.

Foreign Minister Wang Yi said over the weekend that China was willing to offer Russia unspecified assistance in the wake of the ruble’s fall, and said Beijing had full confidence in the Kremlin’s ability to solve it. The currency hit record lows on an almost daily basis as the price of oil, a critical Russia export, has plunged.

We are convinced that Russia has the ability and the wisdom to overcome the current kind of challenging situation.

—Wang Yi

“We are convinced that Russia has the ability and the wisdom to overcome the current kind of challenging situation,” Mr. Wang told reporters, video of which was posted Saturday to the website of Hong Kong-based Phoenix Television. “We consistently support and help each other. If the Russian side requires it, then we will offer required assistance within the scope of our abilities.”

He didn’t offer details or specific proposals.

While Beijing and Moscow have a history of rivalry, Moscow is seeking closer ties to Beijing, particularly as it has grown estranged from the West in the wake of its confrontation with Ukraine.

China has an interest in the stability of the ruble as both countries have sought to reduce reliance on U.S. dollars in international transactions. China and Russia signed a three-year, $150 billion yuan ($24.1 billion) currency swap line in October.

A spokesman for the Foreign Ministry said last week that the currency-swap agreement had gone ahead normally despite the ruble’s fall, adding that the countries’ economies remained highly complementary. China’s growing economy is huge market for Chinese natural-resources exports, including oil.



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