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Exclusive-Russian banker Kostin says: the end of U.S. dollar dominance is nigh

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MOSCOW (Reuters) – The end of the dominance of the U.S. dollar is nigh as the Chinese yuan rises and the rest of the world sees the peril of the West’s failed attempt to bring Russia to its knees over Ukraine, one of Moscow’s most powerful bankers told Reuters.

Andrei Kostin, the CEO of state-controlled VTB, Russia’s second largest bank, said the crisis was ushering in sweeping changes to the world economy, undermining globalisation just as China was taking on the mantle of a top global economic power.

Asked if he thought the world was in a new Cold War, Kostin said that it was now a “hot war” that was more dangerous than the Cold War.

The United States and the European Union, he said, would lose from moves to freeze hundreds of billions of dollars of Russian sovereign assets as many countries were moving to settlements outside the greenback and the euro while China was moving towards a removal of currency restrictions.

“The long historical era of the dominance of the American dollar is coming to an end,” Kostin, 66, told Reuters on the 59th floor of the gleaming VTB skyscraper overlooking southern Moscow. “I think that the time has come when China will gradually remove currency restrictions.”

(Reporting by Guy Faulconbridge and Elena Fabrichnaya)

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