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    MOSCOW, January 15, 2004. The weakening of the dollar on the world markets is a deliberate policy of the US administration, believes well-known Russian economist Mikhail Zadornov. "Since the presidential elections in the United States will take place in November, the US administration will follow this line during the rest of the year," said the former Finance Minister and now State Duma deputy at the news conference in RIA Novosti.

    The European economy suffers from the strengthening of the euro. However, in connection with the coming presidential elections, Washington is doing everything possible to delay the conclusion of an agreement with the European authorities on the coordinated movement of the dollar and the euro. Only the achievement of such an agreement will help stabilising the American currency, believes Mikhail Zadornov.

    The Russian economist underscored that the trade deficit of the USA, which amounted to about 550 billion dollars in 2003, "is obviously a longstanding process." Such trade partners of the United States as China, Japan and other countries of the Asia and Pacific region, explained Zadornov, use the dollar to preserve their economies. China and Japan, for example, ensure in this way the surplus of their budgets. "These countries will continue buying dollars to restrain the strengthening of their own currencies," the economist is convinced. In this way, he believes, the situation with the US trade deficit is "absolutely controllable, and the collapse of the dollar is out of question."

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