For Russia, reducing dependence on U.S. dollar is a matter of security


From RIA / Novosti, Moscow
Monday, August 7, 2017

The Russian Foreign Ministry said Russia can reduce the economy's dependence on the U.S. dollar and the U.S. monetary and financial system in response to U.S. sanctions. Work in this direction is already underway, monetary affairs expert Alexei Zubets said on Sputnik radio.

Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov told about Moscow's response to new U.S. sanctions. According to the diplomat, the authorities intend to reduce dependence on American payment systems and the dollar.

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Ryabkov added that it is important for Russia to "create efficient economic schemes, where dependence on the dollar, on the American monetary and financial system" will be reduced. Otherwise, according to the deputy minister, "we will always sit on their hook -- exactly what they need."

The vice-rector of the Russian Federation's Finance University, Alexei Zubets, said on Sputnik radio that work in this direction is already underway.

"It is quite difficult to completely abandon the American monetary and financial system," Zubets said, "because more than half of the payments in the world are made in dollars -- in this case we are talking about the dollar as a unit of account -- because the U.S. at any time can block Russian payments in international trade transactions.

"This is what we are talking about, and we had to end it long ago. We need to create alternative options, and the payment card Mir, which is being promoted in Russia, is precisely the action for this. It is a matter of security. It is essential that the Russian payment system is independent and allows us to live free from the threat of sanctions and the blocking of our accounts, allowing us to use our money without regard to processing centers."

Earlier, U.S. President Donald Trump signed a law on sanctions against Russia, Iran, and North Korea. The new package of restrictions has become the largest since early 2014. The document mainly concerns the Russian energy sector.

The president could veto the bill passed by Congress, but in fact he was forced to sign it, for both chambers of Congress supported the sanctions with overwhelming votes and could easily overcome Trump's refusal.

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