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#3 - JRL 7004
U.S. calls on Russians not to fear for their savings due to coming "pink dollar"

MOSCOW. Jan 4 (Interfax) - U.S. Ambassador to Russia Alexander Vershbow has assured Russians who prefer to keep their savings in U.S. dollars that their savings will not be affected by the introduction of so-called pink dollars.

"Whenever new notes are introduced, including the recently modified $20 bill and $50 bill, there's been a long transition period in which the old notes are still accepted. So I don't think anyone should worry about being stuck with worthless paper," Vershbow said in an interview with Interfax.

The U.S. Federal Reserve System has recently announced that modified pink dollar bills will be issued this year.

The ambassador did not say when pink dollars will appear in Russia.

"As an American who has just passed his 50th birthday it's going to be very traumatic to have anything other than green dollars in my own wallet, so I can understand how Russians are curious about this, given how many dollars are in circulation in Russia," Vershbow said.

"The purpose of these changes is to fight the increasingly clever counterfeiters, who around the world are able to produce very convincing replicas of our currency, including some very skillful Russians, as well as skillful Americans," Vershbow said.

Vershbow has characterized Russia as "a serious location for counterfeiting."

"It's a reflection of the advances in technology for laser- printing and other techniques that all of our central banks face an increasingly big challenge to stay one step ahead of the criminals," Vershbow said.

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