MINSK, 27 May (BelTA) – For the sake of distributing import duties at the external border of the Eurasian Economic Union Belarus and Russia will continue using Russian rubles while other countries will use U.S. dollars. The decision was made as a result of the videoconference session of the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council on 27 May, Deputy Prime Minister of Belarus Igor Petrishenko told BelTA.
In his words, during a private conference the EAEU leaders discussed in detail the matter of the currencies they should use in order to transfer import duties amid the pressure of Western sanctions on Russia and Belarus. It was decided that Russian rubles will be used to transfer duties for Belarus and Russia. The heads of state signed this decision on 18 May. The partners will use U.S. dollars for now in accordance with the Eurasian Economic Union Treaty, Igor Petrishenko explained. The Board of the Eurasian Economic Commission was once again instructed to review the matter and make calculations in order to avoid losses for state budgets of the countries.
Igor Petrishenko said that the matter of the currency suitable for transactions will be reviewed one more time in order to determine how this transition and transactions of import customs duties should be implemented in practice.
“We've temporarily introduced a procedure for receiving transactions in Russian rubles,” he said. “The decision has been made. Peculiarities of its realization are being clarified.”
BelTA reported earlier that due to unfriendly actions and sanctions on the part of Western countries on 18 May Belarus and Russia signed a temporary agreement on switching to Russian rubles for the sake of distributing import customs duties at the external border of the Eurasian Economic Union. Meanwhile, the Eurasian Economic Union Treaty stipulates that import customs duties shall be split and transferred using U.S. dollars.
Chairman of the Board of the Eurasian Economic Commission Mikhail Myasnikovich was previously quoted as saying that Belarus and Russia make transactions in Russian rubles in accordance with the temporary agreement. They use the same currency for transactions with the three other Eurasian Economic Union member states – Armenia, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan. At present Armenia, Kyrgyzstan, and Kazakhstan make transactions in U.S. dollars in accordance with the Eurasian Economic Union Treaty.
Mikhail Myasnikovich described the currency issue as one of the most hotly debated topics not only during the session of the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council but also during the Eurasian Economic Forum as a whole.