No specific steps taken to introduce single currency for Customs Union payments

Pyotr Prakapovich, head of the National Bank of Belarus, has expressed concern about what he called the lack of any specific steps to use a single currency for settling payments in the Customs Union of Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia, as quoted by BelaPAN. 

“To talk about a customs union, a simple issue should be first addressed today: the Russian ruble should become an effective reserve currency in the post-Soviet region,” Mr. Prakapovich told reporters in Minsk on Thursday. “But nothing is being done, apart from talks.” Belarus put forward proposals for making the ruble a reserve currency a long time ago, before the global crisis began, he said. “But our Russian colleagues did not take actions to strengthen the Russian ruble and give it reserve currency status.”

“It is a paradox that the dollar is today the most popular currency in transactions between CIS countries and Russia, followed by the euro and only then by the ruble,” Mr. Prakapovich said.

He said that he was sure that the use of the Russian ruble to settle payments in the post-Soviet region would make the effects of the global recession on the countries less prominent.