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Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Russia Proposes Local Currency Initiative to Entice Trade with ASEAN Nations

This Week

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov proposed the use of local currencies while urging the revitalization of trade between Russia and Southeast Asian nations during a recent forum in Jakarta.
Lavrov proposed the use of national currencies instead of the US dollar to bypass Western sanctions imposed after Russia’s intervention in Ukraine in 2022. Russia highlighted that trade between Russia and ASEAN member states had dropped by 4.4% due to the sanctions.

In an interview with Indonesian newspaper Kompas, Lavrov expressed Russia’s readiness to work with ASEAN on promoting the use of local currencies. He emphasized that Russia, along with other nations, is gradually reducing its dependence on the US dollar and transitioning to alternative payment systems. ASEAN countries have already been encouraging the use of local currencies to deepen economic integration within the region.

During the ASEAN-Russia meeting, discussions encompassed energy and food security, with a focus on non-carbon emitting energy sources and fossil fuels. Indonesia sought Russia’s support for an initiative to enhance food security within the region, highlighting Russia’s status as a significant global producer of grain and fertilizer.

Lavrov also expressed concerns regarding NATO’s plan to establish a liaison office in Tokyo. Against the backdrop of growing potential conflicts in the Asia-Pacific region and risks associated with NATO’s expansion into Asia, the Russia-ASEAN dialogue becomes increasingly vital for ensuring stability in the region, Lavrov emphasized.

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