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    February 9, 2016

    Former Prime Minister of Armenia Urges Countries of the EEU to Create Single Currency

    Translated by Ollie Richardson for Fort Russ
    9th February, 2016




    Member countries of the EAEU (EEU) must create a single currency, believes the former Prime Minister of Armenia, opposition MP from the Armenian national Congress Hrant Bagratyan.

    "With 300 billion trade turnover between the countries of the EEU, operations should not be conducted in dollars. To reduce the dependancy on that currency, payments between countries should be conducted in other currencies," said Bagratyan to the Arka Agency.

    The Minister for main integration directions and macroeconomics of the Eurasian Economic Commission, Valovaya Tatyana Dmitriyevna, on Monday told reporters that a single currency system will not be implemented within the EEU, because it can lead to negative economic consequences.

    Bagratyan said there are three options for the transition to a common currency. "The first option requires the transition of all countries into the ruble zone of Russia, which will act against Kazakhstan and Belarus. The second option is the creation of a common currency for all countries of the EAEU. Third – non-cash settlements," said Bagratyan. He noted that currently it is beneficial for Armenia to pay Russia for imported gas and oil in rubles, not dollars, and to issue consumer loans in the Republic not only in dollars and euros but in rubles also.

    According to Bagratyan, due to remittances from Russia, rubles in Armenia have accumulated in large numbers, and this is the reason that the exchange rate of the ruble in Armenia had declined more than in any other country. "The Russian ruble depreciated the most in Armenia, so we have rubles", – Bagratyan said.

    In 2015, the Russian ruble had been devalued to the Armenian dram by 28.1%. Today the average market exchange rate of the ruble in Armenia is to 6.42 dram.
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