Russia ready for conducting trade with Belarus in rubles, says Kremlin spokesman

Russian Presidential Spokesman Dmitry Peskov has refuted the statement made by Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko that Moscow rejected Minsk’s proposal to conduct trade in Russian rubles.

“Frankly speaking, this is the first time I hear about that. I have no such information,” Peskov told reporters on Tuesday when asked whether Lukashenko’s words about trade in rubles quadrate to facts.

Peskov noted that “in trade and economic relations with partners, and particularly with closest partners, which Belarus belongs to,” Russia “is interested in shifting to settlements based on national currencies, including, first of all, the Russian ruble, of course.” He added that “the issue is permanently on the agenda of the talks.”

Belarusian President said earlier that Minsk had suggested that mutual settlements be completely removed to Russian rubles. “As of today almost 80% of our trade with Russia is based on Russian rubles. Not long ago I offered to (Russian) President: before greater undertakings, let us shift to (conducting) 100% of trade in Russian rubles. That is our proposal. We are not afraid of that, but no one gets himself into that,” the BelTA news agency quoted Lukashenko as saying.

In this respect, the Belarusian leader concluded that “Russia gives up trade with its closest partner in Russian rubles, relying on hard currency – ‘enemy’s’ dollars and euro.”