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MOSCOW, June 30. /TASS/. Russia’s cooperation with the BRICS members is developing at an enormous pace, particularly in the areas affected by anti-Russian sanctions, experts at the Russian Institute for Strategic Studies (RISS) said on Tuesday. They were speaking at a news conference titled "BRICS — the basis for a multi-polar world."
According to head of the department of International Economic Organizations at the RISS Center for Economic Studies Vyacheslav Kholodkov, the signing of the agreement on setting up two financial institutions (the New Development Bank and the Contingent Reserve Arrangement — TASS) in Fortaleza last July attests to the stimulation of the integration process at the moment when the first anti-Russian restrictions were imposed by the West.
"These institutions will help Russia to avoid isolation, give us a source of external financing, which we will certainly use," Kholodkov said. "The BRICS member-countries thus prevented Russia’s international isolation."
For her part, senior researcher at the RISS Center for Economic Studies Yekaterina Sharova drew attention to the fact that the BRICS member-countries had repeatedly spoken out in favor of reducing the dependence of the global financial system on the US dollar and increasing the use of national currencies. "Russia and China have made especially good progress in this respect," she said. "The two countries signed an agreement on settling bilateral trade in ruble and yuan as of 2011, which introduces the possibility of payments in the national currencies under the contracts worth up to one billion yuan." The expert noted that Brazil and South Africa had similar agreements with China.