Russian President Vladimir Putin delivered pointed remarks on the implications of the U.S.’s using the dollar as an instrument in political conflicts.
In a recent interview with conservative pundit Tucker Carlson, Putin criticized American leadership and the Biden administration for leveraging the dollar “as a tool of foreign policy struggles.”
Ever since Russia attempted to invade Ukraine, strict economic sanctions have been put in place. The goal is intended to block Russian banks from transacting in the dollar, pound and euro thereby limiting the country’s resources for the war effort and shrinking its economy.
“To use the dollar as a tool of foreign policy struggle is one of the biggest strategic mistakes made by the US political leadership,” Putin said. “It is the main weapon used by the United States to preserve its power across the world. As soon as the political leadership decided to use the US dollar as a tool of political struggle, a blow was dealt to this American power. It is a stupid thing to do and a grave mistake.”
See the interview below.
Putin also asserted that the BRICS — a formation comprising Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa (which has been expanded to include countries like Saudi Arabia and Iran) — have progressed towards using alternative currencies for trade.
Despite Putin’s remarks, the greenback remains dominant in global reserves, with the International Monetary Fund’s recent data showcasing its commanding 59.17% share in the third quarter of 2023.
Top economists have also dismissed the notion of any currency replacing the U.S. dollar as “ridiculous.”
Carlson clams up
Putin’s criticism of the dollar coincides with Carlson’s views on the currency. At a November 2023 business conference in Las Vegas, Carlson advocated for Bitcoin’s potential to liberate individuals from what he saw as the whims of authorities.
Carlson — who was fired from Fox News in April 2023 — stated that Bitcoin’s promise wasn’t in its ability to make its holders wealthy. Rather, Carlson argues, its potential is in how it could help users gain “independence from those who have historically diluted currency value.”
Carlson’s perspective came from an ongoing inquiry regarding financial censorship in the U.S., referencing an incident where a Bitcoin miner’s bank accounts were abruptly frozen. Such scenarios come about as likely repercussions from a government inclined to maintain monetary control, he suggests.
In his opinion, Bitcoin provides a viable escape route from that cycle.
This gradual trend has raised questions about the dollar’s prolonged dominion as the global reserve currency, especially considering the U.S.’s $34 trillion national debt.
Carlson was subsequently blasted by other media outlets for not challenging Putin’s claims on a variety of other topics. Observers went so far as to call the former Fox News host a “useful idiot,” for seemingly using the interview to simply appeal to his far-right audience during an election year.
It’s worth noting that Donald Trump, the Republican front-runner for the 2024 U.S. presidential election who Carlson backs, recently indicated he would “encourage” Putin’s Russia to attack NATO allies.
Putin has rejected allegations that Moscow intends to attack other NATO nations. But that doesn’t hold water in the eyes of the White House.
“Remember, you’re listening to Vladimir Putin,” White House national security spokesman John Kirby before the interview was posted online. “And you shouldn’t take at face value anything he has to say.”