MINSK, October 21. /TASS/. Russia and Belarus should consider national currency swaps, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said on Tuesday after a meeting of the Cabinet of Ministers of the Russia-Belarus Union State.
The meeting discussed the need of the two countries’ closer work on currency and financial issues, especially amid Western sanctions imposed on Russia barring access for Russian companies and banks to international capital markets, Medvedev said. “A whole number of markets is closed for Russia at present. And we need to build mutual long-term currency positions,” Medvedev said.
“This refers to the possibility of using currency swaps opened in national currencies and the possibility of using the Russian ruble as a payment means more actively,” Russia’s premier said.
The Eurasian Economic Union to come into force from January 1, 2015 will not harm the format of the Union State of Russia and Belarus but only strengthen it, Medvedev noted.
“As we have agreed with our Belarusian friends, and we discussed it with the Belarusian president earlier today, the format of the Union State will not vanish, but, on the contrary, will only strengthen,” Medvedev said, opening a meeting of the Union States’ Council of Ministers in Minsk. In practical terms, according to the Russian prime minister, it means that cooperation between the Union State’s permanent committee with the Eurasian Economic Commission will be expanded. “The more so as we have managed to advance much further in certain areas within the Union States from what we have within the Eurasian Economic Union and even bearing in mind some plans we have in the Eurasian Economic Union,” he said.
As soon as the Eurasian Economic Union starts operating, the sides will proceed to a new stage of integration — implementation of measures to ensure the so-called “four freedoms” (free movement of goods, services, capital and labor force).