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Russia’s First Vice Prime Minister on currency union within Eurasian Economic Union

Radiotochka.kz/Denis Plavsky © Radiotochka.kz/Denis Plavsky ©

Russia’s First Vice Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov stated that the Eurasian Economic Union member states shouldn’t scramble to launch a currency union of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan. The statement was made in the Vesti v Subbotu (Saturday News) Program on Russia-24 TV Channel.

“Some think we are immediately launching a currency union. However, the President’s commission is to study aspects of launching a currency union and experience of other currency unions. First of all, I mean the currency union of the EU. Besides, we are closely monitoring the currency devaluation in the three countries. Now Armenia and Kyrgyzstan are set to be partners within the Eurasian Economic Union. What are the possibilities of formulating a common currency and monetary policy, given that stability of [the Russian] national currency hasn’t been insured within anticipated parameters and given that the mentioned above nations are sovereign nations and take decisions being guided by national interests? There are a lot of issues in here and we shouldn’t make mistakes. Some want to accelerate the integration process, set a new goal and shift to another stage. But there should be no hurry. The integration process is gaining momentum. We are undergoing a complicated time with two new states onboard. These issues should be concertedly resolved by 5 member states. Other nations might also seek membership. Some will be striving for special partnerships with the Eurasian Union. At this stage the tasks are to avoid failures and try to get more organized to progress. When it comes to a currency and monetary unions, the Bank of Russia will be dwelling on pros and cons of such unions with national banks of the other member states, there will be a discussion among finance ministries, and the findings will be submitted to the governments (…) At this stage the task is to be handled only by experts”, Mr. Shuvalov said.

March 20, 2015, while meeting Presidents if Kazakhstan and Belarus, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin said the three countries had approached the issue of launching a currency union. “My partners [that is Presidents of Kazakhstan and Belarus] and I have agreed to further cooperation with regards to monetary policy. I believe the time has come to discuss a possible launch of a currency union”, President Putin when tallying results of the trilateral meeting in Akorda, Astana-based Presidential Residence. “It’s easier to respond to external financial and economic threats and defend the common market if we all work shoulder to shoulder”, he said.

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