Russain seeks to expand de-dollarization drive

The Foreign Ministry will approach Southeast Asian nations regarding a switch to national currencies in trade

Russia is planning to discuss a switch to national currencies in trade with countries in Southeast Asia, the Foreign Ministry announced on Tuesday. The move comes as part of Moscow’s push to ditch the US dollar and euro in business settlements.

As a result of Western sanctions against Moscow, trade turnover between Russia and countries in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) decreased by 4.4% in 2022, the ministry said in a statement ahead of Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s visit to Jakarta, Indonesia.

“To improve the situation, Russia is working on launching consultations on introducing national currencies in mutual settlements,” the Foreign Ministry said on its website.

ASEAN is a political and economic union of Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. Lavrov is in Jakarta this week to meet with his ASEAN counterparts to foster stronger ties.

Following the imposition of sanctions, Russia and its trading partners among developing nations have intensified efforts to reduce the use of the Western financial system and replace the US dollar and the euro with national currencies for trade settlements.

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The trend is supported by the members of BRICS, the economic bloc uniting Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa, as well as numerous other nations that want to join the union. Among the currencies widely used instead of the US dollar are the Russian ruble, Chinese yuan, and UAE dirham.

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