Russia-led trade bloc will soon stop using dollar – Lavrov

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EEU members are boosting settlements in national currencies and only use the greenback in statistics “out of habit,” the foreign minister says

The US dollar may soon disappear from Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) trade statistics, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov says, as member-states are cutting use of the currency in mutual settlements.

Lavrov noted that trade between the countries of the union is rapidly growing, and said it is high time statistics were calculated in the currencies they use.

The EEU, which is based on the Customs Union of Russia, Kazakhstan, and Belarus, was established in 2015. It was later joined by Armenia and Kyrgyzstan.

“The EEU is one of the most dynamically developing regional associations. It unites almost 185 million consumers, and its total gross income is more than $2 trillion. Although, it is time to switch over to calculating statistics in other currencies, so far we count in dollars out of habit,” Lavrov said at a conference on Wednesday.

Russia has been reducing the use of the dollar in foreign trade. Moscow also approved a plan for the de-dollarization of the domestic economy in 2018. However, it accelerated the process of moving away from what it calls “compromised” currencies this year, following unprecedented sanctions imposed on Russia. This year, Moscow introduced a ruble-based payment scheme for gas exports and stepped up the use of national currencies in foreign trade.

According to official data, the share of national currencies in mutual settlements between the EEU members by August 2022 was 74%, with over half of the transactions made in Russian rubles.

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