Can Russia live without the US dollar?

The US dollar will remain in circulation in Russia and will not disappear anywhere, but the Russian economy needs to reduce its dependence on the US currency, Federation Council Chairwoman Valentina Matviyenko said.

Matviyenko sees the policy to reduce Russia's dependence on only one financial centre as absolutely correct. Moreover, this is a matter of Russia's sovereignty.

"The dollar, of course, is not going anywhere. It will remain in circulation, but it is certainly necessary to reduce the dependence of our economy on just one currency, and this is what we have been doing," Ms. Matviyenko said in an interview with RIA Novosti.

She recalled that the Central Bank of Russia and the government "have been pursuing the policy of de-dollarization during the recent years, as the president instructed."

According to her, Russia's gold and foreign exchange reserves have already become less dependent on the US dollar, whereas Russia's investments in US government obligations have decreased 30 times over the past 10 years.

"Reducing dependence on only one, albeit important financial center is an absolutely correct policy, and the Russian parliament supports it in every possible way, because this is a matter of our country's sovereignty," she said.

Valentina Matviyenko noted that a lot has been done recently to strengthen the Russian ruble and increase its attractiveness for businesses and citizens.

"This also yields results as most people raise loans and make their deposits in rubles. Citizens trust the Russian ruble today," she said.

Earlier, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov also said that Russia should reduce its dependence on the US currency. According to him, this must be done due to new possible US sanctions.

It is worthy of note that the US dollar is now traded at about 75 rubles per one dollar. The majority of Russians simply cannot afford buying either the dollar or the euro, the exchange rate of which nears 90 rubles per one euro. The Russian ruble collapsed from about 30 rubles per one US dollar in 2010 to about 39 rubles per dollar in 2014, 61 rubles per dollar in 2015, 64 rubles per dollar in 2019 and 80 rubles per dollar in 2020. Many experts predict that the Ruble will continue its decline as the West continues tightening sanctions against Russia. Apparently, Valentina Matviyenko is looking at the world through a pair of rose-tinted glasses that she was happy to buy for a few hundreds of US dollars.