Russia’s non-dollar settlements within BRICS skyrocketing – central bank chief

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The share of the country’s transactions with other bloc members in national currencies has reached 85%, Elvira Nabiullina says

The share of Russia’s settlements in national currencies with fellow BRICS countries has increased to 85%, up from just 26% two years ago, the head of the Russian central bank, Elvira Nabiullina, told RIA Novosti on Tuesday.

Nabiullina added that the share of the group in Russia’s foreign trade has doubled over the past two years to reach 40%, up from 20% in 2021 and 30% 2022.

Moscow is currently discussing potential integration of national payment infrastructures with BRICS members, according to Nabiullina, who mentioned that 159 entities from 20 countries had already hooked up to the Russian alternative to SWIFT, which is called the System for Transmitting Financial Messages, or SPFS. 

BRICS, which previously comprised Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa, saw a major expansion this year when Saudi Arabia, Iran, Ethiopia, Egypt, and the United Arab Emirates joined in January. According to Nabiullina, the group now accounts for 35% of the world’s GDP in PPP terms.

Russia holds the rotating chairmanship of BRICS for 2024. Moscow has repeatedly stressed that its priority during this period will be to increase payments in national currencies within the bloc.

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