Euro Introduction Will Not Affect Russian Economy

German Gref, Minister of Economic Development and Trade, believes that the introduction of the single European currency /euro/ in Europe in early 2002 will not seriously affect Russia's economy. In his opinion, the new currency will hardly be competitive to the US dollar used in Russia as an accumulative unit. Russia's Sberbank /Savings Bank/ said that Russians' demand for the euro would be determined by the stability of the new currency, the economic prospects for the countries in the euro zone and the dynamics of economic and tourist ties between Russia and these countries. RIA Novosti sources at the Interbank Currency Exchange of Moscow /MICEX/ believe that the circulation of cash euros will not result in any drastic changes of daily euro trading conducted at the MICEX since the euro cashless introduction back in January 1999. The daily volume of euro trading during the so-called Single Trading Session at the MICEX is 1.5-5.5 million euros, and of the dollar trading--some 100 million dollars. According to a European Commissioner, Russians will have the opportunity to exchange European currencies for euro at any currency exchange from January 1, 2001.

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