Russia-EU Deal on Euro Payments Unlikely This Year: Official

Russia and the European Union are unlikely to reach an agreement on payments in euros by the end of 2019, a high-ranking foreign ministry official has said, according to RIA Novosti.

“I do not think [that this is likely]. The thing is, in the European Union itself, almost all payments are in dollars, especially on large projects, including those in the oil and gas industry,” said Andrey Kelin, the director of the Russian Foreign Ministry’s Department for European Cooperation, when asked if an agreement to switch to payments in euros could be signed with the European Union by the end of 2019.

The measures toward using national currencies, first proposed by Russia last year, are supposed to reduce certain risks for entrepreneurs in Russia and the European Union and boost bilateral trade.

Russia and Brussels have been discussing using national currencies, instead of the U.S. dollar, for bilateral trade deals. On 13 June, Russia’s Finance Minister Anton Siluanov met with Maros Sefcovic, the vice president of the European Commission for the Energy Union, to discuss the creation of a working group that would facilitate the process.

In early June, Economy Minister Maxim Oreshkin told Russian media that in the global economy, the U.S. dollar was gradually losing its share of the market, as major powers like China and Turkey were increasing their share in the euro.