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ST PETERSBURG, June 22 (Itar-Tass) — Former Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin said introducing a single Customs Union currency would be disadvantageous to Russia. "I don't think it's a promising idea; this decision would be disadvantageous to Russia; it's also disadvantageous to the countries which could enter this currency zone," he said.
Kudrin noted that "not all the countries that are members of the Eurasian Union have sovereign ratings, which implies that the quality of their financial systems is below reasonable. If they are invited to the single currency space now, it will sharply deteriorate the quality of the Russian rouble. I do not believe it is necessary to involve the countries -- that are in permanent financial crisis -- in the single currency space as it's a blow to the Russian rouble."
"Furthermore, Europe's experience shows a currency union should be accompanied by financial union, i.e. tough restrictions on all financial policy, expenditure and fiscal policy principles.
"We have to set principles for these countries, as the EU does for Greece; and remain in permanent conflict all this time - who pays for whom and whether these countries should abide by the tough restrictions since they are still at the development stage.
"While paying attention to the EU's experience, it turns out that weaker countries suffered greatly from the strengthening of the single currency. It appears that in case of currency union, the exchange rate will be affected by fundamental indicators of Russia, not the countries that joined the union, and the currency might get stronger or weaker contrary to their interests. I believe it will be disadvantageous to these countries.
"Lastly, Russia is not ready to offer its services to a currency union; because we still heavily depend on oil; we have to overcome this dependence first, and not to subject other countries to these risks," the former finance minister said.