A senior Russian diplomat says more countries around the world are joining an initiative to use local currencies for settlement of trade payments as the US dollar becomes increasingly unreliable because of Washington’s sanction policies.
In remarks published on Monday, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Pankin said that countries in the Asia-pacific region, including China and Japan, as well as others in Africa and Latin America have become interested in Moscow’s proposal to use non-dollar and local currencies for payment settlements.
“Russia is developing enhanced cooperation on the matter with its partners from the Asia-Pacific region, where the readiness to switch to mutual settlements in national currencies or other currencies apart from the dollar is quite high,” Pankin was quoted as saying by the Sputnik News.
He added that Moscow has been involved in efforts to synchronize its national payment systems with those of China and Japan to facilitate the removal of the US dollar from trade settlements.
The diplomat said that switching to non-dollar payments could be implemented in settlements between members of blocs in Eurasia regions including the EAEU and CIS.
He said Moscow has been engaged in talks with other major economic and trade blocs around the world, including the BRICS, to promote the issue.
Russia has been subject to a series of inclusive American and European sanctions since 2014 when a series of political developments in neighboring Ukraine led to the fall of a pro-Russian government in Kiev.
However, Moscow has sought to use the sanctions as an opportunity to distance itself from the dollar system to minimize the economic impacts of the US bans. Russia’s central bank has also reduced the share of the greenback in its reserves by switching to other currencies like the euro, China’s yuan or to gold.
Russia has already removed the dollar from dealings with allied countries, including with China and Iran.
Pankin said central banks in Russia and partner countries, including in Iran, have stepped up efforts to synchronize their financial messaging systems to develop an alternative to the dollar-based SWIFT, a Europe-based clearing house for international payments which is highly sensitive to Washington’s sanctions policies.