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Russia Cool On Kazakh Idea For New World Currency

Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbaev
MOSCOW (Reuters) -- Russia has given a cool reception to a Kazakh proposal for a new global currency, saying it may be a topic for discussion among a loose, Russia-dominated economic grouping of just five former Soviet states.

Russia has said it wants the ruble as a regional reserve currency. But Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbaev has proposed a currency he calls "acmetal," combining "acme" and "capital."

"I think that a detailed review of the Kazakh president's proposal will occur at the level of the Eurasian Economic Union and this idea will be developed," Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told a joint news conference with Kazakh Foreign Minister Marat Tazhin, who was in Moscow for talks with Lavrov.

The Eurasian Economic Union is an economic club that also includes Kyrgyzstan, Belarus, and Tajikistan. Uzbekistan left the group last year.

Nazarbaev's plan was out of character for the vast Muslim nation, which traditionally avoids making sharp statements on world affairs as it played a careful balancing act to keep good ties with both the United States and its former Soviet overlord.

Russia complains that weaknesses in the U.S.-dominated global financial system caused the crisis and has said it will use this weekend's G20 summit in Britain to call for a re-ordering of international finance.