Russia and Byelorussia: How to avoid using foreign currency

Sooner or later, other CIS countries will join the Union of Russia and Belorussia. Meetings of Russian and Belorussian politicians and financiers have already become a tradition. The integration process of the two countries is most real in the economical sphere, head of the Central Bank of Russia Viktor Geraschenko believes. Other participants of 9th session of Interbank Russian-Belorussian Monetary Council, which was opened yesterday in the city of Pskov, are of the same opinion.

According to participants of the meeting, introducing the euro as the main currency is the result of uniting process in Europe. At the same time, one of the most priority directions of yesterday's discussion was how to painlessly avoid foreign currency in the interstate calculations and to introduce a united national currency.

The part of foreign currencies makes today 50 percent of all interstate calculations. As is well known, the level of a state’s independence could be signified with the degree of foreign currency’s circulation. As for Russia, all such comments are superfluous here. In this situation, the potential of the Union State is really great, which could save Russia from colonial dependence and strengthen the Belorussian economy. However, for these aims, clauses of the Union State should be kept. This is the most complicated thing.

According to former deputy chairman of Bank of Russia, Sergei Alexashenko, Belorussia is interested in receiving next credits from the Central Bank of Russia, so it will try to persuade the Russian side to give this credit. While Russian participates in the meeting support the Russian-Belorussian Union and “do not completely understands what actually it wants from Belorussia.” The economic life of the two countries, according to Alexashenko, is “too different.”

As for the last point, he is probably right, though with such spirits, the negotiations and existence of the union itself are really just a formality and even a burden for the states. While such trips to Pskov are not gratuitous at all.

Yesterday, a representative Belorussian delegation arrived in Kaliningrad, which intends to carry out consultations in some committees and offices of Kaliningrad region’s administration. The negotiations to be carried out in the framework of preparations for the third sitting of the Russian-Belorussian Council, during which questions of transit through Belorussian territory, as well as railway and air communication with Kaliningrad region, are to be discussed. According to TASS reports, the Belorussian delegation is being lead by Alexandr Partukha, the head of the Office of Cooperation with Russian Regions.

It should be reminded that the 2002 draft budget of the Union State should be submitted for consideration of the Parliament Assembly of the Russian-Belorussian Union on February 11-17. Sergei YUGOV PRAVDA.Ru

Translated by Vera Solovieva

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