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Eurasian Economic Union set to abandon dollar, euro — reports

December 02, 2014, 9:12 UTC+3 MOSCOW
The EEU countries could switch to national currencies in mutual payments by 2025-2030, the chairman of the board of directors of Russia’s National Payment Council, told the Izvestia newspaper
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© ITAR-TASS/Mikhail Dzhaparidze

MOSCOW, December 2. /TASS/. Transactions in dollars and euros could be banned within the member-states of the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) — Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Armenia, the Izvestia newspaper reported on Tuesday.

The EEU countries could switch to national currencies (ruble, Belarusian ruble, Kazakhstani tenge and Armenian dram) in mutual payments by 2025-2030, the chairman of the board of directors of Russia’s National Payment Council, Alexander Murychev told the newspaper.

“It is necessary to raise a question before the national banks of the member-states on excluding the US dollar and the euro from interstate payment transactions,” said Murychev, detailing a concept for the EEU development, which was unveiled during a meeting in Kazan on Friday.

Statistics shows that around a half of mutual payment operations between the EEU member-states account for the US and the euro, thus increasing the dependence of the trade bloc on the foreign countries’ economies.

The new concept envisages that the EEU member-states should create a joint payment space allowing carrying out transactions with due regard to the compatibility of national card systems, including BelCard (Belarus), Armenian Card (Armenia) and their Russian counterpart, which is currently under development.

Natalya Burykina, who chairs a committee on financial market of the State Duma, Russia’s lower house of parliament, said the initiative of switching to the national currencies makes sense as the idea is to create a single economic space in the framework of the EEU, according to the report.

Eurasian Economic Union

The Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) is a new integration association, which will start functioning from January 1, 2015 instead of the Eurasian Economic Community (EurAsEC), which officially ceased to exist on October 10. The EEU members are currently Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Armenia. Kyrgyzstan is expected to join the union soon.

The EEU accounts for one fifth of the world’s gas reserves and around 15% of oil.

The Treaty on the establishment of the Eurasian Economic Union was signed by the presidents of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan on May 29, 2014 in Astana. The agreement is the basic document defining the accords between Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan for creating the Eurasian Economic Union for the free movement of goods, services, capital and workforce and conducting coordinated, agreed or common policies in key sectors of the economy, such as energy, industry, agriculture and transport.

The post-Soviet trade bloc based on the Customs Union of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan is expected to embrace a financial system worth $3 trillion. EEU member states’ mutual investments grew by 14% in 2013 from the previous year to $1.9 billion.

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