Putin says Russia 'very worried' by eurozone crisis

11th November 2011, Comments 0 comments

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin on Friday said Moscow was "very worried" by the eurozone crisis and expected the European Union to act quickly to avoid economic stagnation.

"We are all very worried about the eurozone crisis," Russia's likely new president in next year's elections told a group of Western and Russian political analysts.

"If measures are not taken urgently ... the next step is stagnation."

Putin also estimated that Brussels would need to come up with some 1.5 trillion euros (2.06 trillion dollars) to stave off the growing European sovereign debt crisis and rescue the euro currency.

The EU has agreed to expand the size of its existing 440-billion-euro bailout fund to one trillion euros. But the leveraging mechanism has still not been spelled out, a delay that has drawn criticism from some emerging nations.

"We count on the EU authorities and countries to intervene in the process and stop this development of events," Putin said in reference to the threat of economic stagnation.

Russia -- flush with the world's third-largest currency reserves -- has previously only offered to help Europe by investing up to $10 billion dollars in the rescue facilities made available by the International Monetary Fund.

Putin on Friday did not refer to any direct Russian assistance for the eurozone nations and conceded it might be diffucult for the EU nations to come up with a concensus for how the crisis may be overcome.

"It is always easier to watch from the side," said Putin. "What looks good in theory does not always work in practice."

Moscow itself has yet to make clear how exactly it would help the eurozone within the framework of the IMF.

© 2011 AFP

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