Moscow is intensifying efforts to wean its economy off the dollar as Washington considers tough new sanctions that could deny Russia access to foreign debt markets and bar its banks from using dollars.
As reported by AFP, President Putin has repeatedly criticised the dollar’s global dominance but the country’s previous efforts to “de-dollarise” its economy have so far had little success.
Russia’s finance ministry and the central bank are soon expected to present measures to Prime Minister Medvedev to increase the use of other currencies in international trade.
Last month Putin said, “We will certainly be moving in this direction. Not because we want to undermine the dollar but because we want to ensure our security, because they are constantly slapping sanctions against us and are simply denying us an opportunity to use the dollar.”
However, observers warned that the task Russia faces is hugely ambitious, but that unpredictable US policy, new sanctions against Iran, and Washington’s trade war with China could in fact help Moscow.
A France-based credit insurance company, Euler Hermes, said in a recent report, “Large-scale de-dollarisation will take time— estimates range between 1.5 and five years.” It is also said that Russia’s de-dollarisation efforts “may be easier now in a world of rising US protectionism.”