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The Decline of the US Dollar and Euro in Russia’s Trade: Shifting Global Dynamics

Explore how the share of the US dollar and euro in Russia's trade has plummeted from 90% to less than 50% due to the increasing adoption of national currencies, driven by the Washington-led sanctions policy. Discover the implications of this shift and Russia's growing economic cooperation with China and other nations.

In a significant shift in global dynamics, the influence of the US dollar and euro in Russia's settlements has witnessed a drastic decline, dropping from 90% in early 2022 to less than 50% by the year's end. This trend is expected to continue as more countries around the world adopt national currencies for their trade transactions. Prompted by a sanctions policy led by Washington, the Russian government has been actively replacing the dollar and euro with other currencies, with the aim of reducing dependency and promoting economic autonomy. This article delves into the reasons behind this shift, the emerging dominance of national currencies, and the potential consequences for the global economic landscape.

The Erosion of Dollar and Euro Dominance in Russia's Trade

Sanctions and Shifting Alliances

The adoption of national currencies in Russia's trade can be attributed to the Washington-led sanctions policy, which has compelled numerous countries worldwide to seek alternatives to the dollar and euro. Russian Deputy Minister of Economic Development, Vladimir Ilyichev, highlighted this trend during the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF). He stated that the share of the dollar and euro in Russia's trade turnover had dropped to 48% by the end of 2022, with settlements increasingly conducted in rubles and yuan. As Western countries continue to impose sanctions, this trend is expected to persist.

Russia's Strategic Shift

Recognizing the need to reduce vulnerability to international sanctions, Russia has proactively taken steps to decrease its reliance on the dollar and euro. This has involved a substantial reduction in the number of banking accounts and transactions involving Western currencies. The Russian Finance Ministry envisions further diminishing the share of the greenback and euro to 10-15% by the end of the year, providing more impetus for the use of national currencies in trade settlements.

 Strengthening Regional and Bilateral Partnerships

The Rise of the Ruble and Eurasian Economic Union (EEU)

In addition to reducing dependence on the dollar and euro, Russia has experienced a significant increase in the use of the ruble for settlements within the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU). The share of the ruble in trade settlements between EEU member countries reached an impressive 75% in 2023. This underscores the strengthening of regional cooperation and economic integration within the EEU.

The China-Russia Trade Partnership

Asia, particularly China, has emerged as a key trade partner for Russia. Bilateral trade between the two countries surged by over 34% in 2022, reaching a record high of $190 billion. Both nations have prioritized the use of their own currencies in trade transactions, leading to mutual benefits. As economic cooperation between Russia and China gains momentum, the two countries have set an ambitious trade goal of $300 billion by 2030. This deepening partnership provides a solid foundation for further reducing the dominance of the US dollar and euro in trade between the two nations.

Expanding Trade Horizons and Free Trade Agreements

Russia-Iran Free Trade Agreement

Russia is currently finalizing a free trade agreement with Iran, encompassing all aspects of trade between the two nations. The agreement is anticipated to be signed in the near future, offering significant advantages to Russian companies by exempting them from Iran's high export duties. This agreement showcases Russia's efforts to diversify its trade partnerships and reduce reliance on Western markets.

Future Prospects with the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, and Indonesia

In addition to the Russia-Iran free trade agreement, negotiations for similar agreements with the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, and Indonesia are underway. These agreements, once in force, will create new avenues for trade and strengthen economic ties between Russia and these nations. By expanding its trade horizons, Russia is further diminishing the influence of the US dollar and euro in its trade settlements.

Conclusion

The declining share of the US dollar and euro in Russia's trade represents a significant shift in global economic dynamics. Prompted by the Washington-led sanctions policy, Russia has taken proactive measures to reduce dependence on Western currencies. By gradually replacing the dollar and euro with national currencies, particularly the ruble and yuan, Russia aims to enhance its economic autonomy and establish stronger trade partnerships with countries like China, Iran, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, and Indonesia. This shift not only reflects changing geopolitical alliances but also highlights the increasing importance of national currencies in shaping the global economic landscape.

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