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Russia may threaten the United States but not with ruble

No country in the world is eager to undermine the global financial system.

The transition to national currencies in trade calculations is hindered by the global historical role of the US currency as the most liquid currency in the world. This was announced on July 31 to media representatives by the director of the Department of the Ministry of Finance for Control of External Constraints Dmitry Timofeev.


Refusing the dollar in mutual settlements with trading partners, in his opinion, is necessary in order to, on the one hand, level out the ability of the United States to intervene in the economic ties of third countries, and, on the other hand, to exclude the possibility of information about bank transactions getting to the American authorities. This, among other things, seems to imply the non-use of the SWIFT financial messaging system, the threat of Russia being disconnected from it, as well as the threat of secondary sanctions against commercial banks for interacting with sub-sanctions from the US SDN list, has periodically arisen since 2014.


“Connecting to the dollar banking system makes it possible to trade with almost the whole world, because in almost all countries there is a developed system of correspondent accounts in dollars. Neither the ruble, nor the yuan, nor even the euro have such a correspondent account system, ”the RBC portal quoted the official as saying. However, according to him, serious problems arise on the path of dedollarization, which Russia triumphantly embarked on last year.


Firstly, commercial participants have little incentive to abandon the dollar, and without the support of partner countries, alone, this cannot be done. Secondly, today all the most liquid currency pairs include the dollar. And when trading in pairs that do not include the dollar, it is still present as an intermediary currency: monetary units do not change directly, but each through the dollar.


How soon will the Russian monetary authorities be able to overcome these obstacles?


  • A year ago, relations between Russia and the United States deteriorated greatly, and then, as an instrument of influence on America, our authorities made an attempt to reduce the share of the dollar in the domestic economy. At the same time, accordingly, stating that they will switch to the Russian ruble. However, this statement was purely political in nature, in reality, Russia cannot yet refuse the dollar in any way, – said expert economist Leonid Khazanov.


– Why? What prevents the ruble from becoming the same reserve currency?

– For a number of completely objective reasons. First, the dollar is the world’s reserve currency, and it is used by virtually all countries in the world, including China. Secondly, Russians prefer to keep their own savings in dollars.


Thirdly, the ruble is a weak currency. And when I hear our Minister of Economic Development Oreshkin saying that the ruble as a currency is underestimated, I always want to ask – why does he think so? Is our economy stronger than the US? Nothing like this! So we can’t get rid of the dollar.

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– But what about the active purchase of gold reserves and the exemption from value added tax on operations to attract precious metals to deposits of not only legal entities, but also individuals? Is it a failure too?


– Thus, the authorities are simply trying to reduce the amount of money, the same dollars that citizens have “in stockings”. After all, it is so legislatively arranged that it is profitable to buy a gold bar located on the so-called anonymized metal account: then the bar does not leave the bank. The largest sellers of gold in our country are precisely state-owned banks.


But the fact is that not all citizens have the opportunity to buy gold due to certain features of this process. This is the first. And secondly, where is the guarantee that one day the bank will not refuse to exchange the purchased metal for cash?


Whereas with the dollar, this issue is easily resolved in any nearest exchanger.


– Under what conditions is the rejection of the dollar in our economy still possible?

– Remember the Roman Empire. Until the moment she began to fall apart, her sisters was the reserve currency for her colonies. And it ceased to be quoted only when the Roman Empire ceased to be such. The same story happened with the UK. As soon as it ceased to exist as an empire, the pound lost its significance. So, perhaps, we can refuse the American dollar only when the United States likewise collapses as a power immediately, both economically and politically. And until this happens, the dollar will most likely remain the world’s reserve currency.

– That is, the conditions under which the ruble if it does not take the place of the dollar in the global economy, then at least get closer to these positions, will never come?


– These conditions can exist only if Russia begins to continue sustained economic growth. Which will lead to the fact that investments will begin to come, and not run away, when companies will be interested in investing in our country. So far this is not the case, while we see the stagnation of the economy, but there are no prerequisites for its growth. And it seems that we have not yet reached the bottom, but are only approaching it.

Therefore, the attempt at dedollarization actually failed. No one refused the American currency. And you can adjust currency operations as you wish, enter limits, people will still not refuse to use it, especially with the inflation that is now.


– The world economy, – Vasily Solodkov, director of the banking institute of the Higher School of Economics, picked up the topic, – is now based on the fact that the dollar is the main currency for savings. Just because it has a good credit history. All those dollars that have been issued since the creation of this currency, they will be accepted in the United States. Try to do this with any other currency in the world.


Meanwhile, when the Russian ruble was introduced into circulation in 1993, its exchange rate against the dollar at that time was approximately 1000 to 1. And taking into account the subsequent denomination, the exchange rate of the ruble against the dollar fell another 65 times.


So the sunset of the dollar occurs only in the eyes of the president and his entourage, including Comrade Glazyev. And no one else in the world pursues a policy of dedollarization, because you can’t cut the branch on which you sit. And Russia is doing this, and with pleasure. For example, shifting from the dollar to the same yuan, we are not aware that we are losing an amount comparable to our annual health budget.

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– Are the costs so high?

– This is not a cost, this is, sorry, idiocy! You cannot do what cannot be done. Russia is trying to trade conditional tugriks, and all the others refuse them, because no one knows what to do with these tugriks. A typical example is that even before taking the presidency, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev sold $ 4 billion worth of weapons to Venezuela. But the calculations were made in Venezuelan bolivars. The question is how much are these bolivars now? Yes, absolutely not at all.


There can be many similar creative ideas, but before implementing them, it would be nice to think about what is useful for the economy and its development and what is not. For example, you can take and swing the global financial system, of course, but not the United States and Europe, but for Russia itself it will be bad.

– Why?

  • Because the Russian economy is monocultural. Which essentially produces nothing but oil and gas.

– But the logic of the authorities is such that if you do not shake it, it is likely that Russia will be disconnected from the international SWIFT system, and this is a disaster …


  • No one willingly disconnects us from this system and will not. To do this, we must really learn something so unimaginable. The world is interested in the growth of trade, in the growth of the exchange of anything. But Russia, on the contrary, is now trying to close as much as possible.

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