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Russian ruble might become single currency in Eurasian Economic Union, Lukashenka says


Alyaksandr Lukashenka has acknowledged that the Russian ruble might be adopted as a single currency in the Eurasian Economic Union that Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia plan to establish.

“Perhaps, we will end up with the Russian ruble, if it is of interest to everybody,” the Belarusian leader said in an interview with the Russia 24 television channel on Friday. “And it has a lot of components to be of interest to everybody.”

At the same time, the move should be well considered to avoid a scenario similar to the one taking place in the European Union, said Mr. Lukashenka. “It seemed that they had really done a good thing, with the euro having played a very big role especially during the previous crisis. But simultaneously, big problems emerged. As we say here, they now cannot move either backward or forward. You won’t throw out Greece, and at the same time other countries are facing a similar situation. You won’t throw it out, as this will mean admitting to failure.”

Mr. Lukashenka revealed that he had suggested using the Russian ruble in mutual payments while meeting with the presidents of Kazakhstan and Russia in Moscow earlier in the day. “Why must we buy dollars to pay you for energy, raw materials and other things that we purchase from you to... give them to you? Let’s switch to the Russian ruble,” he said, speaking of the discussion. “And your president [Dmitry Medvedev] unambiguously backed the idea. President Nazarbayev also agreed, saying that national currencies could be used in trade transactions.”

Meanwhile, Kazakhstan’s President Nursultan Nazarbayev said in an interview with RIA Novosti and Interfax following the meeting with his Belarusian and Russian counterparts that none of the national currencies was “fit” to become a single currency in the future Eurasian Economic Union.

“It should be a different name, it should be a different currency,” said Mr. Nazarbayev.

He said that the Union should first prove that is mutually beneficial and based on equality. “After that, the issue concerning the single currency will surely be placed on the agenda,” he noted. //BelaPAN

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