Russian Finance Minister Talks Dollar Attack on Russia, Importance of Developing Alternatives for Settlements

Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov has given his opinion on the perceived attack the Russian economy has been receiving from the U.S. dollar, and how the country has moved to keep trade going. Siluanov also remarked on the importance of developing settlements in national currencies.

Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov: ‘The Dollar Has Challenged Russia’

Anton Siluanov, the Russian finance minister, has referred to Russia’s situation after having most of its means for dollar-based exchange blocked. Siluanov noted that Russia was forced to find alternatives to the dollar due to the economic sanctions enacted by the U.S. government, due to the country’s involvement in the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

In an interview with CGTV, Siluanov stated:

We are not challenging the dollar, the dollar has challenged Russia, so we are looking for reliable alternative settlement mechanisms between our exporters and importers so that it is convenient, reliable and beneficial for participants in the foreign economic activity of our countries.

Russia has turned to using national currencies in bilateral settlements with some countries like China and Iran. In May, Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin stated that 70% of Russia-China settlements were conducted using national currencies.

Hadi Tizhoush Taban, the head of the Iran-Russia Joint Chamber of Commerce, reported more than 60% of bilateral trade was settled using the Russian ruble and the Iranian rial.

Debt Situation and Importance of De-Dollarizing

Siluanov analyzed the recent bipartisan deal signed into law by U.S. President Joe Biden to suspend the country’s debt ceiling, and how the U.S. national debt situation derived from “poor economic policies.” He explained:

The situation with the default is not new. The U.S. is unlikely to allow a default, because it prints money and would print as much as it needs. The issue is political regulation and whether the deficit and debt can go beyond certain thresholds.

The U.S. national debt is currently calculated at around $31.4 trillion, with Japan and China holding a significant amount. According to Siluanov, the instability of the internal economic situation of the U.S. is one of the reasons for supporting the development of settlements in national currencies and the de-dollarization of trade markets.

On this, Siluanov argued:

We don’t know how these countries will behave in the future, what inflation will be like, how much money they will print, and whether they will reach debt-ceiling agreements or not.

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