Moscow and Minsk discuss single currency

The information about the single currency came from the head of the Russian Economic Development Ministry Maksim Oreshkin on the margins of the International Economic Forum in St. Petersburg.

“The issue of single currencies is an issue of central banks. Central banks in both Russia and Belarus are independent from the government. It will not be decided and discussed at the government level. This, of course, is the level of discussion for the president.

However, no matter how many times the heads of state have met, their positions in some areas of integration are still diverging, said Minister of Economy of Belarus Dzmitry Krutoy to journalists. First of all, it concerns the energy sector and the banking sector. The issue of the single currency as seen by the governments of Russia and Belarus is still open for discussions.

Leanid Zaika, economist from the “Strategy” center, said: “But what is there to introduce? The dollar is 60 Russian rubles! What is there to introduce? This wooden Russian ruble? What is there to talk about?!”

But discussing the social block, industry and the financial market is much easier, said Minister Dzmitry Krutoy. Overall, the updated program of deepening relations with Russia is to be presented by June 21, and the main activities are planned for implementation by 2022-2023. Will there be a single currency by then?

Valery Karbalevich, political analyst, said: “If it switches to the Russian ruble, Belarus will be little different from a subject of the Russian Federation in terms of independence. Because economic policy and money will be decided in Moscow. Therefore, I can hardly imagine that Lukashenka will agree to it.

Thus, Moscow will not stop putting old ultimatums to the uncooperative Minsk. According to Russian Deputy Minister Anton Siluanov, it makes no sense to “pull out” the issues of compensation for tax losses until the issues of integration are resolved. Even hinting at new loans is out of the question.

Valery Karbalevich, political analyst, said: “We owe $40 billion. $4 thousand for every Belarusian. This is the money we have been borrowing for the last 12 years. So let’s think about it before talking about how to settle issues with Moscow”.

In turn, speaking the day before at the plenary session of the Economic Forum in St. Petersburg, Vladimir Putin reassured our fellow citizens with political statements:

“Today there are no conditions for state unification. We have no such plans and goals. We have a plan to build the so-called Union State. I am confident that our people are interested in this”.

We asked the residents of Mahiliou if the Belarusians interested in a single currency within the framework of the Union State.

Residents of Mahiliou:

“We are an independent people, and since the state is our own, the currency should be our own. But if they create a single currency, the economy may become stronger”.

“If there are Russian salaries here, then maybe it should be done. And if the money is Russian and the salaries are Belarusian, it makes no sense”.

“Every republic must have its own currency. Plus the Constitution, flag and independence of the state”.

However, the issue of independence is the most urgent in these negotiations.

Vital Babin, Belsat