Russia backs switching to national currencies in settlements between SCO countries

Transitioning to mutual settlements in national currencies could open prospects for countries of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), according to Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev.

Talking at the SCO council meeting in Tajikistan, the PM said theres need in such a step and the Russian government supports the idea. He, however, noted that “it is necessary to act carefully.”

According to Medvedev, “The external conditions we are working are still difficult and can hardly be called comfortable. The system of strategic stability faces serious challenges.”

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He stressed that “some states use unfair competition, introducing protectionist measures, illegal unilateral sanctions” in order “to maintain their dominant positions.”

Medvedev explained that such attacks are mainly directed against Russia and China as key members of the SCO, as well as their partner Iran.

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang has also called on the SCO member countries to firmly support free trade and economic cooperation. He proposed advancing SCO cooperation in six areas: security, multilateral economic cooperation and trade, production capacity cooperation, connectivity, innovation, and people-to-people ties.

The agreement establishing the Shanghai Cooperation Organization was inked in 2001 by six founding states – Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. In 2017 India and Pakistan became full-fledged members of the SCO. Afghanistan, Belarus, Iran and Mongolia currently enjoy observer status while Sri Lanka, Turkey, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Cambodia and Nepal are dialogue partners.

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