WASHINGTON, February 11. /TASS/. US State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said on Tuesday she does not believe that Russia and Egypt could agree to switch to national currencies in mutual settlements and end the use of US dollars.
"I don’t believe that was what announced, nor do I believe that’s what the Government of Egypt would say if asked. I certainly would suggest you ask them that question," Psaki told journalists, when asked on President Vladimir Putin’s visit to Cairo.
In comments to a possible deal on arms supplies between Russia and Egypt, she said the United States provides "a great deal of security assistance to the Government of Egypt."
President Putin said in an interview with Egyptian newspaper Al Ahram on the eve of his two-day visit to Cairo that Russia was ready to switch to settlement of accounts with Egypt in national currencies, and relevant departments of the two countries were working out the issue in detail.
This issue is really being actively discussed, primarily because the tourist season will begin in Egypt soon, Putin said. "Evidently, settlement of accounts in national currencies will contribute to creating more favorable conditions for millions of Russian citizens who annually spend their holidays in your country," the Russian leader said.
Russian Economic Development Minister Alexey Ulyukayev said on Tuesday the Central Banks of Russia and Egypt would look at using national currencies in mutual trade.
He confirmed that this issue was raised during the talks, noting that the switch to national currencies could concern all the types of transactions — in trade in goods and services and in investments.
In January, Egypt’s Tourism Minister Hisham Zaazou mentioned the possible switch to national currencies with Russia.