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Vladimir Putin, Russian Prime Minister, Calls U.S. Parasite On The Global Economy

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Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin tries to bend a cooking pan during his visit in the Seliger youth educational forum near Lake Seliger | ap

LAKE SELIGER, Russia, Aug 1 (Reuters) - Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin accused the United States on Monday of living beyond its means "like a parasite" on the global economy and said dollar dominance was a threat to the financial markets.

"They are living beyond their means and shifting a part of the weight of their problems to the world economy," Putin told a Kremlin youth group while touring its summer camp north of Moscow.

"They are living like parasites off the global economy and their monopoly of the dollar."

US President Barack Obama announced a last-ditch deal to cut about $2.4 trillion from the U.S. deficit over a decade, avoid a crushing debt default and stave off the risk that the nation's AAA credit rating would be downgraded.

The deal initially soothed anxieties and led Russian stocks to jump to three-month highs, but jitters remained over the possibility of a credit downgrade.

"Thank god," Putin said, "that they had enough common sense and responsibility to make a balanced decision."

But Putin, who has often criticised the United States' foreign exchange policy, noted that Russia holds a large amount of U.S. bonds and treasuries.

"If over there (in America) there is a systemic malfunction, this will affect everyone," Putin told the young Russians.

"Countries like Russia and China hold a significant part of their reserves in American securities ... There should be other reserve currencies."

U.S.-Russian relations soured during Vladimir Putin's 2000-2008 presidency but have warmed significantly under President Barack Obama, who took office in 2009 promising a "reset" in bilateral ties.

(Reporting by Maria Tsvetkova; Writing by Alissa de Carbonnel; editing by Tim Pearce)

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