— This is the script of CNBC's news report for China's CCTV on October 16, Thursday.
Welcome to the CNBC Business Daily, I'm Qian Chen.
Russian stocks falling as oil prices have slumped.
Sanctions imposed on Russia by the West have not just hurt Russia, but are also starting to bite in Europe's biggest economy - Germany.
But Russian prime minister Dimitry Medvedev is not too worried, as he told CNBC's Geoff Cutmore.
Dmitry Medvedev: I'm on good terms with everyone. And I know that President Putin also has good relationships with everyone. But it's not an issue of personal relationships - we may call each other every other day or send each other cards on New Year's. These are real economic issues, and so they present real political issues as well. I'd like to repeat that so far nothing dramatic has happened to our economy or the EU economy, to say nothing of the US economy, which doesn't depend in any way on Russian economy. However, it is obvious that if these trends persist, the negative potential will start growing. At present our trade is about $400 billion, a figure I've already mentioned. Germany is our second biggest trade partner after China, but some time ago it was first. China is developing rapidly and has already become the world's largest economy in terms of purchasing power parity. At any rate, as you know, on 8 October China was recognised as such, but naturally the US economy is much bigger overall for the time being.
Russia Prime Minister Medvedev and China's Premier Li Keqiang signed energy, trade and finance deals on Monday.
That's on top of a 150 billion yuan currency swap the two agreed on.
Medvedev said that such a move would enable Russia to trade with China directly, bypassing the dollar.
He also told CNBC that the world needs to move away from its dependence on the U.S. dollar.
Dmitry Medvedev: we have nothing against the dollar, and I don't think China has anything against it either. But we believe that a modern currency system should be better balanced, so that when one of the currencies is sagging, this should be compensated by other global reserve currencies. In this sense - I'm only talking about my impressions, which have not changed since 2008 - I believe that we need six or seven reserve currencies to create the required level of financial stability, and they should include the dollar, the euro, the pound and possibly in the near future, the yuan. We also considered the rouble, but this is a goal for a more distant future.
We believe that this would be a much fairer financial structure, which doesn't mean that we have a negative view of keeping our savings in US dollars. The dollar is the main reserve currency; it's a fact, no one can deny it. Moreover, as you know, we have substantial gold and foreign currency reserves which we keep in securities. And the bulk of these securities are denominated in dollars, simply because the market of dollar-denominated securities is the largest in the world. I'm not sure this is a good thing - not because we don't like the dollar, but because it makes us very dependent on the US economy.
I'm Qian Chen, reporting from CNBC's Asian headquarters.