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Russia, China might consider replacing dollar in bilateral trade - expert


MOSCOW, August 28 (RIA Novosti, Yelena Fedorova) - Russia and China might consider replacing dollar in bilateral trade, a senior banking expert said on the eve of the Third Russian-Chinese Banking Forum opening Monday.

Garegin Torsunyan, president of the Association of Russian Banks (ARB), said, "There are many ways to establish direct currency exchange and appropriate exchange rates with our Chinese partners."

A certain step in this direction has already been made when Russian and Chinese banks were allowed to open mutual corresponding accounts, he added.

At the same time, Torsunyan said it was difficult to establish direct currency exchange considering that the Russian currency was not convertible abroad.

The use of the dollar in servicing Russian-Chinese trade is the result of Russia's monetary policy, the expert said.

"The fact that we have been using the dollar in our trade with a neighboring country for many years while having a more stable and undervalued domestic currency is the result of our monetary and economic policy," he said.

"The value of the Russian national currency is much higher than we have currently set," he added. "Foreign countries evaluate the Russian currency on the basis of our own evaluation."

According to the expert, such under-evaluation is the result of "inferiority complex" and lack of self-respect in economic sphere.

In mid-term perspective, there is a necessity to form a "base currency" in South East Asia, he added. The Euro program was developed in the 1960s to counter the expansion of the dollar. Therefore, it is logical to form the third and the fourth global currencies, Torsunyan said.

"Until recently we believed it would be the yen, although at present this prospect is doubtful," the banking expert said.

He does not discard the possibility that the yuan or the unified currency of China and South Korea could be chosen as a "base currency" in the future.

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