Russian UN envoy stresses need to 'de-dollarize' world economy

Xinhua , Tuesday 4 Apr 2023

Russian ambassador to the United Nations Vassily Nebenzia late on Monday stressed the need to "de-dollarize" the world economy after the West's sanctions against Russia caused concerns about the reliability of the dollar-based international payment system.

Vassily Nebenzia
Russian Ambassador to the United Nations Vassily Nebenzia, president of the Security Council for the month of April, speaks at a press conference on April 3, 2023 at the United Nations in New York. AFP


Russia has been talking about the need to delink itself from the dependence on the US dollar and other Western currencies for a long time, he told a press conference at UN headquarters as his country assumed the rotating presidency of the Security Council for the month of April.

Dependence on the US dollar and other Western currencies is not just an issue for Russia, but for many other countries, given what happened after the European Union, the United States and some other countries introduced sanctions against Russia after the outbreak of the Russia-Ukraine conflict in February 2022, he said.

Among the sanction measures was the removal of selected Russian banks from the SWIFT system, a messaging network through which international payments are initiated, paralyzing Russian international transactions.

"The sanctions didn't help them much. But it tells us that they are not reliable. Their financial system is not something that we can rely upon, knowing that they, at any time, can switch off, or rather SWIFT off, the international payment system, that dollar transactions are not reliable anymore," said Nebenzia. "They sanctioned the dollar itself because now the dollar cannot travel to Russia officially."

Russia had to find ways to move to a new system of exchanges with friendly countries and these efforts started even before February 2022, he said. "We've been speaking that we need to 'de-dollarize' the world economy before that and we want to involve local currencies ... more within trade with Russia." 

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