All currency liquidity of the Russian government being prepared to be transferred from the dollar to the euro, according to an announcement made by the Finance Ministry.
The move comes after Finance Minister Anton Siluanov decided it is time for Russia to ditch the dollar altogether and cut its reserves in the National Wealth Fund down to zero.
‘Our goal is to make Russia a euro-oriented country so that the dollar is replaced by the euro, and I think we have every reason for this. This will also apply to the liquidity of currency exchange, and so on,’ said Dmitry Timofeev, the head of the Finance Ministry’s department of external restrictive measures control.
“Since we are a market economy, we cannot just order: stop using dollars,” Timofeev said, though he added that some state-owned corporations might be forced to shift.
“We need to develop the necessary tools in a single package to move the entire economy further away from the dollar, which, in fact, will allow us to avoid sanctions and make the world more democratic,” he added.
According to the Finance Ministry official, the dollar currently accounts for 80% of the currency exchange on the Moscow Stock Exchange, the euro accounts for less than 20%, and the yuan and other currencies are completely non-liquid.
The announcement comes days after Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said that the National Wealth Fund would reduce its share of dollars to zero within the next month.
Meanwhile, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak warned that Russia may soon be tempted to move away from dollar-denominated crude contracts if the US administration continues to pile up targeted economic sanctions.