Russian Finance Minister and First Deputy Prime Minister, Anton Siluanov, has proposed using the European common currency in order to settle transactions between Russia and EU members, while speaking at the St Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF).
As an example of the successful function of using national currencies in foreign trade, Siluanov pointed out that Russia is already doing this with it trading partners.
Settlements in US currency could be dropped by Russia in favor of the euro if the EU takes a stand against the latest US sanctions on Moscow, Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum.
“As we see, restrictions imposed by the American partners are of an extraterritorial nature. The possibility of switching from the US dollar to the euro in settlements depends on Europe’s stance toward Washington’s position,” said Siluanov, who is also Russia’s first deputy prime minister.
The EU initially supported Washington’s sanctions against Moscow, but has recently criticized US President Donald Trump’s policy of imposing trade restrictions on other countries. The EU was also hit by the introduction of US import duties on steel and aluminum. The situation escalated even more after the US withdrew from the nuclear deal with Iran.
“If our European partners declare their position unequivocally, we could definitely see a way to use the European common currency for financial settlements, such as payments for goods and services, which today are often subject to restrictions,”Siluanov said at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum.
Siluanov added that Russia is already developing settlements in national currencies with its trading partners.
The matter would be beneficial for the Euro and the European economy by providing a wider market access and a greater demand for the European currency at a time when Washington is imposing additional threats and hindrances thereto.
But such a move from Europe would be to act in defiance of Washington’s anti Russia foreign policy as an additional regression from US foreign interventionism in general, as talks between European leaders involve counteracting US economic sanctions against Iran, preserving the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action on Iran’s nuclear enrichment (JCPOA), trade tariffs imposed by US President Donald Trump on foreign steel and aluminum imports, proposed tariffs on imported autos, Europe’s energy policy, especially relative to energy cooperation with the Russians, and a peaceful resolution to the Syrian and Ukrainian conflicts, which also concerns the geopolitical positioning of Russia.
Europe is already in altercations with Washington over some of these issues, where the prospect of adding yet another couple of them doesn’t bode well for Europe’s relationship with the US, wherein Europe would both drop the USD, defy US imposed sanctions on Russia, and conduct trade with America’s geopolitical, military, and economic rival in the Eastern hemisphere all at the same time. Where Europe could realize awesome benefits, it may present too much risk for a Europe that is already in a tight spot with its primary trade and defense partner while simultaneously fending off threats to its own unity.