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16 Jul, 2023 07:36

Italian businesses want to switch to rubles in Russia trade

A new payment mechanism could come into effect within months, a lobby representative has said
Italian businesses want to switch to rubles in Russia trade

Russian buyers should be able to pay for Italian goods in rubles, and the Italian business lobby in Russia is working on a mechanism to achieve this, the president of the Italian-Russian Chamber of Commerce has said.

In an interview with RIA Novosti, Ferdinando Pelazzo said that trade in unsanctioned goods such as wine and clothing has been made difficult by financial restrictions on Russia, including the disconnection of its banks from the SWIFT international financial messaging system.

“We want to create a system that would allow Russian buyers to pay us in rubles to an account in a third country, so that we could then forward the money to Italy. After all, the payments are not subject to sanctions, only certain goods,” he said.

The system could go operational within a few months, he added.

Since last year, a large number of exports fell under Western restrictions; however, 49% of the goods are exempt, and if trade in these goods is compromised, “Italy will lose a lot,” Pelazzo warned.

He noted Russia’s growing links with Brazil, India, China, and South Africa, fellow members of the BRICS group of countries. The BRICS nations have been working to switch to payments in their national currencies instead of the US dollar and euro. At the upcoming summit in August, the bloc will discuss a single currency, which Pelazzo described as “the most interesting financial, commercial and geopolitical change.”

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