Russia is open to any requests from the European Union for assistance in fighting Europe’s sovereign debt crisis and is ready to help finance regional anti-crisis measures via the International Monetary Fund, Kremlin aide Sergei Prikhodko said on Wednesday.
“We are exclusively interested in joint and solidarity efforts by the EU countries that could help them overcome those complex and ambiguous processes that are threatening the stability of the euro area, at least its financial stability, and could affect the scope and nature of cooperation with Russia,” Prikhodko said.
The Kremlin aide’s statement comes ahead of the Russia-EU summit opening in Brussels on Wednesday and expected to be attended by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev.
“We are interested in the stability of the euro, at least in the preservation of the role played by the euro in serving the commodity trade turnover, investment, scientific and technical and other cooperation between Russia and the European Union,” Prikhodko said.
The EU accounts for about 50 percent of Russia’s foreign trade while Russia is the EU’s third largest trading partner after the United States and China. Also, the euro holds a 41 percent share in Russia’s international reserves, Prikhodko said.
“We consider ourselves a responsible partner for the EU and therefore are ready to study any requests addressed to Russia,” he said.
The Kremlin aide said that the practice of EU-Russia relations lacked any required mechanisms of Russia’s direct participation in measures to finance the EU countries’ anti-crisis measures but this assistance could be provided through the IMF.
Russian presidential aide Arkady Dvorkovich said in November that the IMF might need an additional $300 billion in financing to help fight the EU debt crisis while Russia’s financial assistance would most likely coincide with its 3 percent quota share in the IMF.
The European single currency has fallen to an 11-month low of 1.30 against the U.S. dollar on global foreign exchange markets on concerns that European leaders will be unable to resolve the eurozone debt crisis quickly and prevent sovereign defaults.