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MOSCOW, July 7 (Reuters) - The head of the Russian central bank said on Tuesday Russia's contribution of $18 billion to a BRICS currency reserves pool would not reduce the country's official reserves until a member state applied for help.
Elvira Nabiullina, the bank's governor, described the pool being created by the group of emerging economies as an "insurance instrument" that members could draw on if they experienced problems with their balance of payments.
"$18 billion from our gold and forex reserves is a very small amount," Nabiullina told a news conference. "We aren't making any initial contributions ... That money will stay in our reserves".
She said she saw no need for Russia to draw forex from the pool in the near future. Member states' official reserves would only shrink if a member state applied for help and, in that case, BRICS states would contribute proportionally from their reserves to provide forex liquidity to the applicant, she said.
Reporting by Elena Fabrichnaya, Writing by Alexander Winning, Editing by Timothy Heritage