News / Europe

Russia Pledges $10 Billion in Eurozone Aid

European Council President Herman Van Rompuy (l) and European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso (r) welcome Russia's President Dmitry Medvedev, at the European Council building in Brussels, Dec. 15, 2011
European Council President Herman Van Rompuy (l) and European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso (r) welcome Russia's President Dmitry Medvedev, at the European Council building in Brussels, Dec. 15, 2011

Russia says it is ready to commit more than $10 billion to the International Monetary Fund to help support the struggling eurozone economy.

President Dmitry Medvedev made the pledge Thursday in Brussels during the biannual EU-Russia summit. "We will abide by all the commitments being the participant of the International Monetary Fund, and we are ready to invest the necessary financial means to back the European economy and the euro zone. We are ready to look at and consider other measures of support," he said.

His economic adviser, Arkady Dvorkovich, earlier said $10 billion would be the minimum commitment Russia would make.  The offer follows last week's summit of European leaders in which nearly all EU countries pledged up to $200 billion in funds and loans to the IMF rescue fund.

Mr. Medvedev says 41 percent of Russia's currency reserves are invested in euros, and that Russia is interested in seeing the European Union preserved as a powerful economic and political force.

"Only Europe will be able to help Europe, but other countries should provide conditions for Europe to liberate itself from the crisis burdens as soon as possible and recover from this downturn as soon as possible," he said.

Thursday's summit gathered EU President Herman Van Rompuy, EU Commission head Jose Manuel Barroso and Mr. Medvedev, among other officials, and comes just days after Russia's much criticized parliamentary elections.

At a news conference after the summit, Van Rompuy criticized the vote, saying the EU is concerned about irregularities, but he welcomed Russia's pledge to monitor future polls.

On Friday, the World Trade Organization is set to approve Russia as a member, after 18 years of trying to join.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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