Decision to expediently introduce ruble as a common currency of Russia and Belorussia might be taken in December

At a briefing which took place on Tuesday in the wake of a meeting of the Council of Ministers of the Union state Russian prime minister Mikhail Kasyanov stated that the decision to expediently introduce the Russian ruble as the major payment instrument of the Union state of Russia and Belorussia might be taken in December.

According to the earlier signed agreements between the countries, common currency is to be introduced from 2005, though a month ago Russian President Vladimir Putin proposed to achieve that one year earlier.

The Russian prime minister stated that by the results of the today's negotiations "we understood that there were such possibilities." According to him, the appropriate decision in this area might be adopted, probably, at the next meeting of the Council of Ministers in December.

Kasyanov reported that national banks and finance ministries of the two countries were instructed to establish special working groups in order to fully work out the process of expedited introduction of the common payment instrument. The premier reported that this issue was also connected with certain technological problems as, for example, the monetary base of the two countries differs greatly, in Russia it was 60 times bigger than in Belorussia.

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