MOSCOW, Russia considers de-dollarization as an objective response to the United States’ unpredictable economic policy and financial sanctions, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in an interview with The Times of India newspaper ahead of his New Delhi talks.

On Wednesday, Lavrov is set to hold talks with his Indian counterpart, Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, and Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the Indian capital.

“Against the background of the increasingly aggressive use of financial sanctions by the U.S. Administration, Russia continues its policy aimed at gradual de-dollarization of the economy,” Lavrov said.

The minister also said that Russia together with its main partners, including India, cooperated in developing economic and legal mechanisms to mitigate “the negative impact of restrictions on bilateral trade and investment ties.”

“Expanding settlements in national currencies is one of our priorities … We consider that de-pegging from the dollar in mutual settlements is an objective response to the unpredictability of the U.S. economic policy and the outright abuse by Washington of the dollar’s status as a world reserve currency,” he added.

In addition, Lavrov recalled that Moscow concluded respective intergovernmental agreements on transactions with Beijing and Ankara in 2019. As of now, Russia and India are developing another intergovernmental agreement aimed at increasing investment protection for both sides. Additionally, the free trade zone agreement, which the Eurasian Economic Union and India are currently working on, will contribute to the investment protection agreement, Lavrov said.

As a part of the policy aimed at promoting the use of national currencies at the international level, Russia along with other major emerging economies including Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) established the New Development Bank (NDB) in 2013. Its purpose is to boost cooperation among the five-member states and investment in the countries’ infrastructure and sustainable development projects. In late November 2019, the NDB registered the first bonds issue program in rubles.

Source: African News Agency