The World Bank is taking a neutral position on the question of the Russian ruble being used as the sole currency on the territory of Belarus. World Bank Second European Department Director John Odling-Smea said at a press conference in Minsk on September 3 that international experience shows that up till now the majority of decisions to create monetary unions in the world between countries have been for political and not economic reasons. He also said that it was impossible to say that the monetary union between Belarus and Russia would not be promising. 'However, at the same time, it is also impossible to say that preserving the Belarussian national currency would not be successful,' he said.
He also said that if Belarus was going to convert its currency to the Russian ruble, then it must toughen its 'credit and tax politics and speed up structural economic reforms in order to compete successfully with the Russian economy.'