While Washington is “abusing” the status of the dollar as the world reserve currency, Moscow will continue to reduce its dependence on the greenback in favor of national currencies, the Russian foreign minister says.
“Against the background of the increasingly aggressive use of financial sanctions by the US Administration, Russia continues its policy aimed at gradual de-dollarization of the economy,” Sergey Lavrov told the Times of India. “Expanding settlements in national currencies is one of our priorities.”
Russia has been developing mechanisms to mitigate the impact of US restrictions. New Delhi and Moscow are currently working on a new intergovernmental agreement on mutual protection of investments. Additionally, the Russia-led Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) is mulling establishing a free trade zone with India, which is set to further boost investor protection, according to Russia’s top diplomat.
Moscow has been steadily decreasing its US currency holdings. The Central Bank of Russia (CBR) halved the dollar share from its international reserves while increasing gold, yuan and euro holdings. According to recent data released by the regulator, the greenback share in Russian forex reserves was 24.2 percent as of June 2019, while the international reserves reached almost $550 billion as of the end of last year.
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