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Putin Says Ruble Set to Become Regional Reserve Currency

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said Russia is succeeding in its effort to turn the ruble into a regional reserve currency as other former Soviet republics adopt it for trade.

“In the post-Soviet space, the ruble is strengthening and becoming a reserve currency,” helping Moscow become an international financial center, Putin told lawmakers in Moscow today.

Ukraine has requested settling purchases of energy products in rubles and Belarus uses the currency for 80 percent to 90 percent of its non-cash transactions with Russia, Putin said.

The world’s biggest energy supplier has been encouraging greater use of local currencies in trade and investment to reduce a reliance on dollars. President Dmitry Medvedev said at the St. Petersburg economic forum last June that he wants to boost the ruble’s place in central bank reserves.

Russia also has agreements that allow the use of the ruble and yuan in cross-border trade and is in talks with India and Brazil to use their currencies in trade, First Deputy Central Bank Chairman Alexei Ulyukayev has said.

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