Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has disclosed that Russia is in discussions with 10 countries from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) about the possibility of using their national currencies in trade settlements. This development is in line with a global trend where many nations are striving to move away from the U.S. dollar for their financial dealings.
Negotiations Between Russia and 10 Southeast Asian Nations Involve Trade Settlements in National Currencies
In an interview with Indonesian national newspaper, Kompas, Lavrov divulged that Russia is exploring options to use national currencies in trade transactions with 10 Southeast Asian nations. This interview, published in English on Wednesday, was facilitated by Microsoft Azure Open AI and Google Translation AI. The ASEAN nations involved in this discussion include Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.
According to Lavrov, Russia does not consider the current global situation as akin to a “new cold war.” Instead, he pointed out that Russia is geared towards creating a multipolar world order. He critiqued the Western countries, headed by the U.S., for trying to inhibit and reverse this progress. “Their objective is not to enhance global security or foster mutual development, but merely to sustain their global dominance and promote neo-colonial agendas. In essence, nothing has changed; as always, they attempt to solve their issues at others’ expense,” he asserted.
The Russian Foreign Minister went on to explain that Western disregard for the interests of countries in the Global South and East has led to the exploration of alternative cooperation methods across various sectors. Lavrov shed light on the fact that the seizure of Russian foreign reserves by the U.S. and Europe has led to a growing realization globally that no country is immune to the confiscation of physical assets within Western jurisdictions.
He added that this realization has not only affected Russia but several other nations as well. Many are progressively minimizing their reliance on the U.S. dollar, turning instead to alternative financial systems that involve national currencies.
Furthermore, Lavrov indicated that the importance of international associations, where Western countries are not participants, is on the rise. He provided BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) as examples.
Lavrov also underscored Russia’s active participation in the UN and other international platforms to discuss pressing global issues. He noted that Russia is in close collaboration with Indonesia, the current chair of ASEAN.
The Russian official shared his plans to attend an upcoming ASEAN ministerial meeting in Jakarta, highlighting Russia’s commitment to developing a strategic partnership with ASEAN, a relationship that spans over three decades.
Lavrov elaborated that Russia is concentrated on strengthening the structure established around ASEAN to boost stability and cooperation within the Asia-Pacific region:
In a move towards de-dollarization, the 10 ASEAN member states have escalated their efforts. In May, they reached an agreement to “encourage the use of local currencies for economic and financial transactions among ASEAN member states.” As part of this initiative, Indonesia’s central bank governor disclosed in April that his country is following the BRICS’ lead to shift away from the U.S. dollar. The country also recently introduced a new national payment system to enhance its de-dollarization efforts and shield against “possible geopolitical consequences.”
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about De-dollarization
What is the discussion between Russia and 10 Southeast Asian nations regarding trade settlements?
Russia is engaging in discussions with 10 Southeast Asian nations, members of ASEAN, to explore the possibility of using their national currencies in trade settlements. This initiative aligns with the global trend of de-dollarization.
Which countries are involved in these discussions?
The 10 Southeast Asian nations participating in the discussions with Russia are Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. These countries are members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
Why is Russia considering trade settlements in national currencies?
Russia, along with several other countries, is seeking to reduce its dependence on the U.S. dollar and explore alternative payment and calculation systems using national currencies. This move aims to safeguard against potential geopolitical risks and the confiscation of tangible assets stored in Western jurisdictions.
How does Russia view the current international situation?
According to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, Russia does not view the current international situation as a “new cold war.” Instead, Russia is focused on developing a multipolar world order. Lavrov emphasizes that Western countries, led by the U.S., are attempting to impede this process and maintain their hegemony in global affairs.
Are there any other international associations involved in de-dollarization efforts?
Yes, apart from the discussions between Russia and ASEAN nations, there are other international associations actively exploring de-dollarization. For example, the BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) have been at the forefront of reducing their reliance on the U.S. dollar. Additionally, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) is another example of an association promoting alternative cooperation methods without Western participation.
How are the ASEAN nations involved in de-dollarization?
The ASEAN member states have intensified their own efforts towards de-dollarization. In May, they agreed to encourage the use of local currencies for economic and financial transactions among ASEAN member states. Indonesia, in particular, has been following the de-dollarization lead of the BRICS countries and has introduced a new national payment system to further its efforts and protect against potential geopolitical consequences.
What is Russia’s approach to ASEAN?
Russia considers ASEAN as a strategic partner and has a longstanding history of relationships with the association spanning over three decades. Russia is actively involved in reinforcing the architecture established around ASEAN to foster stability and cooperation within the Asia-Pacific region. They are also engaging in consultations with ASEAN countries, including Indonesia, on the use of national currencies in mutual settlements.
How is the global community responding to de-dollarization efforts?
The global community is increasingly recognizing the need to reduce reliance on the U.S. dollar and exploring alternative payment and settlement systems. The confiscation of Russia’s foreign reserves in Western jurisdictions has contributed to a growing understanding that no country is immune from such risks. This trend towards de-dollarization is driven by the Western egocentrism that disregards the interests of Global South and East countries and fosters the search for alternative cooperation formats.
More about De-dollarization
- Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Official Website
- BRICS Official Website
- Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Official Website
- ASEAN Encourages Use of Local Currencies for Transactions
- Indonesia Explores De-dollarization Measures
- Russia’s Foreign Minister Discusses Trade Settlements with ASEAN
- Russia’s Foreign Minister Emphasizes Multipolar World Order
- De-dollarization: Trends and Implications (IMF Working Paper)
- The Rise of De-dollarization in the Global Economy (World Economic Forum)
- The Geopolitical Implications of De-dollarization (Council on Foreign Relations)