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Russia considers greater contribution to IMF

Apr 22 2012 11:54 Reuters

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Washington - Russia will consider contributing more than the $10bn it has already promised to bolster the International Monetary Fund's crisis-fighting war chest, with the final figure to be coordinated with other BRICS countries, Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said on Saturday.

"Ten billion dollars as (Russia's) minimum contribution has already been declared, the issue now is of changing it, increasing the sum, taking under consideration the IMF's need for additional resources," Siluanov told journalists on the sidelines of the International Monetary/World Bank spring meeting in Washington.

"We will coordinate with our BRICS colleagues and will jointly decide on our possibilities."

Leading world economies on Friday pledged $430bn in new funding for the IMF, more than doubling its lending power in a bid to protect the global economy from the euro-zone debt crisis.

Siluanov said that $362bn of the sum had been already committed.

"There's around $70bn left," Siluanov said.

He said that the so-called BRICS countries, which consist of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, would have figures ready by the June summit of the Group of 20 advanced and emerging economies that will take place in Los Cabos, Mexico.

The IMF traditionally has provided aid to struggling emerging market nations, but the euro-zone debt crisis has made big industrial economies a new focus. Emerging economies, which have been pressing for a greater say at the IMF, joined in pledging additional funds.

A central issue for winning support from the emerging markets has been the G20 assurance that their voting power in the IMF, known as quotas, will be increased, giving the nations a greater clout at the Fund.

The G20 communique issued on Friday reaffirmed that members would redistribute IMF power by the October meeting.

Russia downplayed the issue of the quota reform as a precondition for the country's contribution to the IMF, but said the new quota distribution formula should be clear and understandable.

"We proposed that the emphasis in the calculation of quotas is based on two main indicators, the size of gross domestic product of each country and the volume of their gold and foreign exchange reserves," Siluanov said.

If those conditions were accepted, Russia's say at the IMF would increase considerably, as the country holds the world's third largest amount of forex reserves, standing at $516.7 billion.

Siluanov said that some BRICS countries spoke only of the need to increase the share of GDP in the quota formula.

"Several countries spoke of the need to continue dialogue on this issue," he said.

"Some countries that already have quotas are not interested in refining them and, naturally, prefer to keep the existing formulas, without making changes."
imf  |  russia
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