Dollar-free monetary union: Russia-led free trade zone may adopt single currency

Dollar-free monetary union: Russia-led free trade zone may adopt single currency
The members of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) may abandon border procedures and adopt a common currency in the future by analogy with the European Union (EU), according to the President of Kyrgyzstan Sooronbay Jeenbekov.

“I strongly believe in the future of the EAEU, we have a tremendous potential. The EU has a single currency, and of course we will also come to this, but time is needed. We must introduce the best of what the European Union has… we must work towards that," he told Rossiya-24.

Jeenbekov noted that “Like in the European Union we have no borders, no border guards. All our nationals are freely traveling across the Union and are entitled to same services, no matter which – medical, educational…”

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According to him, the EAEU member countries should work towards boosting competition with third countries. “The EAEU countries can compete with other foreign nations. We must work in coordination in this issue," Jeenbekov said, adding “I believe that in 2040, the economy of our countries will be the same as in the European Union, the US, Japan and in other leading nations.”

The Kyrgyz president said that the Eurasian Economic Union should expand by admitting new members. “Other countries can also join the EAEU, we can expand, and we must work towards this as well.” 

The EEU, which is based on the Customs Union of Russia, Kazakhstan, and Belarus, was established in 2015. It was later joined by Armenia and Kyrgyzstan. In 2016, Vietnam officially became the first non-regional country to join the bloc. The union is designed to ensure the free movement of goods, services, capital and workers between member countries.

READ MORE: BRICS gearing up for digital revolution

More than 40 countries and international organizations, including China, Indonesia, and Israel, as well as some South American countries, have expressed interest in a free-trade deal with the EEU. The trade bloc is also holding negotiations with South Korea, Egypt, and India.

Last year, the Central Bank of Russia (CBR) proposed to create a joint digital currency for BRICS countries and the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU). It could replace the US dollar and other currencies used in settlements among the member states, CBR said.

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