On introduction of single currency for Union State of Russia and Belarus

Moscow believes that there are real grounds to introduce a single currency for the Union State of Russia and Belarus, said Secretary of State, First Deputy Foreign Minister of Russia Valery Loshchinin.

The documents of the Union State envisage transition to the single currency since January 1, 2005. However, "our initiatives and Belarus' interests lie in speeding up the process and introducing single currency already on January 1, 2004".

To achieve this, it will be necessary to fulfil a number of conditions, for example, to solve the problem of the emission center, the deputy minister believes. The Russian party believes there should be only one center and it should be located in Moscow, he recalled. This issue will be the focus at the talks between the Russian and Belarussian Prime Ministers held in Moscow on Tuesday, as well at the session of the Union State Ministerial Council, Loshchinin added.

When speaking on the state of Russian-Belarussian relations, he emphasized that "all emotional aspects, coming mainly from Minsk, have been smoothed".

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