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Blog "Русская эмиграция 🇷🇺"

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The turn of the Russian economic policy to the East, announced after the annexation of the Crimea and the sharp deterioration in relations with the West, turns into a “cold shower.” The attempt to involve China in dedollarization and formally secure the transfer of mutual trade to national currencies was not successful.

China refused to sign an intergovernmental agreement with Russia on settlements in national currencies, which had been prepared since 2014 and which Russian officials considered it to be a practically resolved matter.

“They moved away from this format at the suggestion of the Chinese side,” said Finance Minister Anton Siluanov on Tuesday.


According to him, such options as an agreement or at least a memorandum of intent were discussed. However, it was possible to agree only on further "to conduct negotiations through the national banks, the Ministry of Commerce of the PRC and the Ministry of Finance of Russia."

However, Siluanov stressed, settlements with China in national currencies are growing without an agreement. According to the Central Bank, 73.6% of transactions in imports from China are paid in dollars (against 85% three years ago).

In export contracts, the share of dollar payments is higher. It is 88% and practically does not change.

This creates serious problems: because of the threat of sanctions, about 30% of all dollar payments of Russian companies are delayed or freeze, most of which is with counterparties from Asia, Siluanov said.

Sometimes you have to wait up to three months. “It is easier to get calculations with American companies than with Asian ones, because there is a procedure for agreeing on the possibility of such calculations,” the minister explained.

China, although it did not introduce formal sanctions against Russia, but its banks de facto joined the US and EU financial restrictions: they refuse to conduct foreign exchange operations with Russian banks, significantly reduced participation in foreign trade transactions, particularly in trade finance, complained back in 2015 year, deputy chairman of the board of VTB Yuri Soloviev.

For three years, it was not possible to get the situation off the ground. Commercial banks of China detain transfers to accounts of Russian banks or refuse to make payments at all, complained in September 2018 of the head of the representative office of the Central Bank of the Russian Federation to the People's Republic of China Vladimir Danilov.

“The problems are connected with the extended interpretation by a number of Chinese banks of restrictive measures of third countries,” he explained: transactions even from companies not included in the sanctions lists fall under the lock.

Hopes for Chinese investors also ended in nothing. According to the Central Bank, the volume of foreign direct investment from the PRC to Russia has declined for four quarters in a row, and for January-June 2018, it fell by 24%.

In the first half of 2018, Chinese investors took $ 1.005 billion from the real sector of the Russian economy, and their total investment fell to $ 3.184 billion. This is a third less than before the annexation of the Crimea ($ 4.452 billion).

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