The Russian government is preparing its project to de-dollarize the country's economy. It is reported by The Bell, citing three sources familiar with the course of discussions. The discussion involves the Central Bank, VTB and other major banks, as well as exporters, clarify the interlocutors.
About any restrictive or prohibitive measures of speech in the draft developed by the government does not go, said one of the interlocutors. He says that "there will be no prohibition on payments in dollars." According to him, the main focus will be on creating opportunities for settlements in national currencies. According to another source, the plan also provides for easing of currency control and liberalization of currency legislation.
The main goal pursued by the government is to transfer settlements with Russia's largest trading partners - China and the EU - into yuan and the euro, with the EEU countries into rubles, the interlocutors explain. To accomplish this task, you will need to create convenient mechanisms that will allow a business to make payments in any currency without unnecessary losses, the sources explain. Among such mechanisms, they call the creation of instruments at the level of central banks that will give access to liquidity in the currency of another country, bypassing the need to buy it in foreign exchange markets.
According to The Bell, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev plans to approve the draft document "in one or two weeks."
In mid-July, VTB head Andrei Kostin, who consistently advocates de-dollarization of the Russian economy, said during a meeting with President Vladimir Putin that the bank’s experts had prepared proposals to increase the use of the ruble in international payments. Then he asked the head of state to support the course of dedollarization and instruct the government and the Central Bank to consider the proposals prepared by the bank. Last Tuesday, the head of VTB said that the president "generally" supported his proposal to de-dollarize the Russian economy.
One of the sources of The Bell explains that the plan being prepared by the government is not a result of Kostin’s proposals. According to the source, dedollarization in the government has been discussed since US President Donald Trump signed the Sanctions Act (CAATSA) last August.
RBC sent a request for comment to VTB.
In early September, Kostin, during the Moscow Financial Forum, outlined dedollarization as one of seven measures that would help counteract Western sanctions.