Russia says it may launch settlements with Iran in national currencies in order to continue bilateral cooperation despite the US sanctions against the Islamic Republic.
The announcement was made by Russia’s Energy Minister Alexander Novak who said Moscow was moving ahead with the plan because it did not recognize the US sanctions against Iran."We do not recognize [the US sanctions against Iran], which were introduced unilaterally without the approval of the United Nations Security Council.
We will continue seeking mechanisms for cooperation, and one of them is the settlements for supplied goods in national currencies," Novak was quoted as saying by Russia’s TASS news agency.
He further emphasized that settling payments with Iran in national currencies would enable Moscow to develop cooperation with Tehran.
"This is not a new situation for us when sanctions are introduced against Iran. Until 2015, when they were lifted, we had cooperated with Iran and developed trade and economic cooperation," Novak stressed.
Over the past months, Russia has repeatedly raised the possibility of replacing the US dollar with other currencies in its transactions with the outside world in response to the US sanctions.
In August, the country’s Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said Russia could reject the US dollar in oil trade.
“It is not ruled out. We have significantly reduced our investments in US assets. In fact, the dollar, which was considered the global currency, becomes a risky instrument for settlements,” he was quoted by media as saying.
To the same effect, Novak had earlier been quoted as saying that Moscow was considering the possibility of oil settlements in national currencies, especially with Turkey and Iran.
“There is a common understanding that we need to move towards the use of national currencies in our settlements. There is a need for this, as well as the wish of the parties.”