Former MP says EEU members should switch to single currency

09.02.2016 19:05
Former MP says EEU members should switch to single currency

YEREVAN, February 9. /ARKA/. Members of the Russia-led Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) must create a single currency, former Armenian prime minister Hrant Bagratyan, now an MP from the opposition Armenian National Congress (ANC), said today.

Speaking at a news conference, he said when the trade turnover between the EEU members is over $300 billion, transactions must not be carried out in USD. He said in order to reduce the demand for the greenback EEU member states must use another currency to settle their deals.

Earlier this week Tatyana Valovaya, a senior member of the Eurasian Economic Commission, the executive body of the EEU, ruled out plans for shifting to a single currency, citing economic reasons as a serious impediment. According to her, such a switchover, if approved, would lead to negative economic consequences at the current stage.

However, according to Bagratyan, there are three options of transition to a single currency. "The first option is that all EEU member states use the Russian ruble, however this would be opposed by Kazakhstan and Belarus. The second option is creation of a single currency and the third option is cashless settlements," said Bagratyan.

He said it would be profitable for Armenia now to pay for imported Russian gas and oil in rubles rather than in US dollars, as well as provide consumer loans within the country not only in US dollars and euros, but also in Russian rubles.

"The Russian ruble has depreciated the most in Armenia, so that we have plenty of rubles,' said Bagratyan.

In 2015 the Russian ruble devalued by 28.1% against Armenian dram. To date, the ruble is trading at 6.42 drams. -0-

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