Russia prepares switch to rouble settlement for farm exports

The switch circumvents western sanctions
calendar icon 30 July 2023
clock icon 1 minute read

Russia will get buyers of its farm exports to pay in roubles rather than dollars as a way to circumvent western sanctions, Reuters reported, citing Deputy Prime Minister Viktoria Abramchenko on Friday.

She said the government was preparing a draft decree that would enable buyers to open special rouble accounts to make this possible.

Moscow has long demanded that its state agricultural bank be reconnected to the international SWIFT bank payments network from which it was shut off after Russia invaded Ukraine last year. Its failure to get reinstated was one of the reasons why Russia last week quit the Black Sea deal for Ukrainian grain.

President Vladimir Putin highlighted the need to shift trade to national currencies in a speech to a summit of African leaders in St Petersburg on Thursday.

Abramchenko said the decree would "simplify the access of friendly countries to the food market and pay for food products in national currencies".

She called it a tool to protect Russian exporters and countries "friendly" to Russia against sanctions pressure.

"Our partners are accustomed to uninterrupted receipt of high-quality Russian food, and we will continue such deliveries," she said.

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