MAY 24, 2018
If Russia had the economic power of China, we’d likely see a competitor the USD on the world stage right now. Adding to their gold reserves is one way they can reduce their undesired dependence on the USD, and if the EU decides to further embroil themselves in trade disputes, it presents another avenue via which they might be able to ditch the dollar.
Their rhetorical bluster is constant, but Russia lacks the economic firepower to impose its will in any substantive fashion on the US via trade. While it is no doubt champing at the bit to throw its full backing behind China’s yuan-centered efforts, China can afford to take their time and play a longer game, seeking to build international support and consensus.
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.
ORIGINAL SOURCE: Russia ready to ditch dollar in favor of euro in foreign trade – finance minister at RT on 5/24/18