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Ryabkov: Dollar replacement latest in series of retaliatory measures against US

Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov

Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov says Moscow is stepping up efforts to abandon US currency in its trade transactions with other countries amid heightened diplomatic tensions between the two sides.

 “The time has come when we need to go from words to actions and get rid of the dollar as a means of mutual settlements and look for other alternatives,” Ryabkov said in reaction to the latest US sanctions on Russia.

He described the current efforts to abandon the US dollar as the latest in a series of “retaliatory measures” adopted so far by Russia against a growing list of US sanctions.

Over the past months, Russia has repeatedly raised the possibility of replacing the US dollar with other currencies in its transactions with the outside world in response to the US sanctions.

Earlier, Russian Energy Minister Aleksandr Novak said a growing number of countries are interested in replacing the US dollar as a medium in global transactions. “There is a common understanding that we need to move towards the use of national currencies in our settlements. There is a need for this, as well as the wish of the parties.”

Moscow announced last week it is interested in trading with Turkey using the ruble and the lira.

On Wednesday, the US further imposed sanctions on two Russians, one Russian company and one Slovakian company for aiding another Russian firm in avoiding sanctions over the country’s alleged cyber-related activities.

It also sanctioned two Russian shipping companies and six ships over claims of transferring refined petroleum products to North Korean vessels.

The White House announced earlier this month, its new rounds of sanctions, including restrictions on trade and diplomatic ties, against Moscow in connection with the alleged poison attack on former Russian intelligence officer Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in the British city of Salisbury back in March. The UK and its allies, including the US, accused Moscow of masterminding and orchestrating the attack.

The sanctions are slated to be imposed on Monday.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova said on Friday the November elections in the US are the reason behind the announcement of the next bunch of sanctions to be imposed by Washington against Moscow.

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