Putin lauds de-dollarization in trade with Asian partner

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The share of ruble-dong settlements in mutual trade has been steadily rising, the president says

Around 60% of transactions between Russia and Vietnam are now carried out using the countries’ respective currencies, bypassing the US dollar and euro, according to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Russia’s head of state made the remarks in an article for the official newspaper of the Communist Party of Vietnam ahead of his two-day visit to the Southeast Asian country, published on the Kremlin website on Wednesday.

Putin noted that the two countries were paying serious attention to enhancing mutual trade and promoting investment, particularly in the Russian ruble and the Vietnamese dong.

“Such transactions accounted for more than 40% of bilateral trade last year, and in the first quarter of this year their share rose to almost 60%,” the Russian leader said, adding that this was in line with the global trend towards phasing out the use of “widely discredited currencies” in international trade and investment.

Putin acknowledged the importance of the Vietnam-Russia Joint Venture Bank, which was set up by the two countries in 2006 with the aim of strengthening their economic ties.

Citing official statistics, the Russian president said that bilateral trade rose by 8% in 2023 and continues to grow, adding that the energy sector remains a strategically important area of cooperation.

“Food, mineral resources, machinery and equipment are exported to Vietnam. Many Vietnamese goods, including clothing, fruits, vegetables and other agricultural products, are in demand on the Russian market,” Putin stated, lauding the role of the free economic trade agreement between the Russia-led Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) and Vietnam.

The EAEU, established in 2015, is based on the Customs Union of Russia, Kazakhstan, and Belarus. It was later joined by Armenia and Kyrgyzstan. In 2016, Vietnam officially became the first non-regional country to become a free-trade partner of the bloc. The group also has three observer states: Cuba and two other former Soviet nations, Moldova and Uzbekistan. Iran is also expected to join the EAEU.

The union is designed to ensure the free movement of goods, services, capital, and workers between member nations.

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