Russia is making plans to discuss a switch to national currencies in trade with countries in Southeast Asia, according to an announcement from the Foreign Ministry on Tuesday. This move is part of Moscow’s ongoing efforts to reduce reliance on the US dollar and euro in business settlements. The decision to explore this option comes as a result of Western sanctions imposed on Russia, which have led to a decline in trade turnover between Russia and countries in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
According to a statement from the ministry, trade turnover between Russia and ASEAN countries decreased by 4.4% in 2022 due to the impact of sanctions. In an effort to improve this situation, Russia is working on initiating consultations with ASEAN nations regarding the introduction of national currencies in mutual settlements. ASEAN is a political and economic union comprising Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov is currently in Jakarta, Indonesia to meet with his ASEAN counterparts and strengthen bilateral ties.
Following the imposition of sanctions, Russia and its trading partners among developing nations have been actively working to reduce their dependence on the Western financial system. One key aspect of this strategy is the replacement of the US dollar and euro with national currencies for trade settlements. This trend is not limited to Russia alone but is also supported by the members of BRICS, which is an economic bloc consisting of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa. Additionally, many other nations that are seeking to join the union are adopting this approach. Some of the currencies gaining prominence as alternatives to the US dollar include the Russian ruble, Chinese yuan, and UAE dirham.
The shift towards national currencies is a significant development in international trade and finance. It signifies a move away from the dominance of Western currencies and the increasing desire for economic and financial autonomy. It also highlights the growing influence and importance of the BRICS countries as they seek to challenge the traditional Western financial system.
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In conclusion, Russia’s plan to discuss the use of national currencies in trade with countries in Southeast Asia reflects its determination to reduce dependence on the US dollar and euro. The impact of Western sanctions has underscored the need for alternative measures, and the adoption of national currencies for trade settlements is one such initiative. This strategy is not limited to Russia alone but is also supported by the BRICS countries and other nations aspiring to join. The shift towards national currencies points to a broader desire for economic and financial autonomy and challenges the dominance of Western currencies in international trade and finance.