The end of the US dollar’s hegemony is near with the rise of the Chinese yuan, one of Moscow’s most powerful bankers told Reuters, adding that the rest of the world saw the danger of the West’s failed attempt to bring Russia to its knees after its invasion of Ukraine.
Andrei Kostin, chief executive of VTB Bank, Russia’s second-largest state-controlled bank, said the crisis heralded sweeping changes in the global economy, undermining globalization at a time when China was taking over as the world’s largest economic power.
When asked if he thought the world was in a new Cold War, Kostin said it was now a “hot war” that was more dangerous than the Cold War.
He said the United States and the European Union would lose out on moves to freeze hundreds of billions of dollars of Russian sovereign assets, as many countries tend to settle payments in currencies other than the dollar and the euro, while China moves toward removing currency restrictions.
“The long historical era of US dollar hegemony is coming to an end,” Kostin told Reuters.
“I think it is time for China to gradually lift currency restrictions,” he added.
“China knows that it will not become the world’s No. 1 economic power if it keeps the yuan as a non-convertible currency,” he said, adding that it was dangerous for China to continue investing reserves in US sovereign bonds.
The US dollar has been dominant since the early 20th century when it overtook the pound sterling as the global reserve currency, although JPMorgan said this month that signs of a weaker dollar were unfolding in the global economy.
Kostin said VTB Bank was considering using the yuan for settlements with third countries.