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90% of Russia-China transactions are in national currencies – Putin

90% of Russia-China transactions are in national currencies – Putin

The decision to switch mostly to rubles and yuan was “timely” and has led to a strong boost in trade, the president says

The vast majority of transactions between Russia and China are now carried out in national currencies, bypassing the US dollar, President Vladimir Putin has said.

Speaking at a meeting with his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, in Beijing on Thursday, Putin heaped praise on the deep level of cooperation between the two powers, especially in trade.

Relations between Moscow and Beijing are based on “the principles of mutual respect, good neighborliness, and mutual benefit,” Putin said. He added that despite the coronavirus pandemic and “some actions aimed at constraining our development” by third countries, the volume of trade is steadily increasing, as both countries have built a solid investment portfolio in various fields.

“A powerful impetus to expand our trade flows was given by our timely joint decision to ensure that transactions are conducted in national currencies. As of today, 90% of all payments are made in rubles and yuan,” the Russian president said.

Read more Kremlin reveals details of Putin’s China trip

According to Putin, trade turnover between Russia and China soared by almost 25% in 2023, reaching $227 billion.

Putin is on a two-day state visit to China, his first foreign trip since his inauguration for a fifth term as president earlier this month. The Russian and Chinese leaders, as well as senior officials from both countries, are expected to hold talks on a wide range of issues such as bilateral relations, economic cooperation and the international situation, including the Ukraine conflict.

The Russian president has said that while Moscow has never sought the “dedollarization” of the national or international economy, this process is “inevitable.” Putin has particularly rebuked Washington for using its currency as a “tool of combat,” which he said is undermining global confidence.

After the start of the Ukraine conflict in February 2022, the US cut off Russia’s central bank from dollar transactions and later banned the export of dollar banknotes to the country. Putin has called Washington’s restrictions “complete foolishness” that only serve to undercut US power and its economy.