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Putin says dump the dollar

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Russian President Vladimir Putin © Alexei Druzhinin / RIA Novosti

Russian President Vladimir Putin © Alexei Druzhinin / RIA Novosti

Russian President Vladimir Putin has drafted a bill that aims to eliminate the US dollar and the euro from trade between CIS countries.

This means the creation of a single financial market between Russia, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and other countries of the former Soviet Union.

“This would help expand the use of national currencies in foreign trade payments and financial services and thus create preconditions for greater liquidity of domestic currency markets”, said a statement from Kremlin.

The bill would also help to facilitate trade in the region and help to achieve macro-economic stability.
Within the framework of the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) the countries have also discussed the possibility of switching to national currencies. According to the agreement between Russia, Belarus, Armenia and Kazakhstan, an obligatory transition to settlements in the national currencies (Russian ruble, Belarusian ruble, dram and tenge respectively) must occur in 2025-2030.

Today, some 50 percent of turnover in the EEU is in dollars and euro, which increases the dependence of the union on countries issuing those currencies.

Outside the CIS and EEU, Russia and China have been trying to curtail the dollar’s dominance as well.
In August, China’s central bank put the Russian ruble into circulation in Suifenhe City, Heilongjiang Province, launching a pilot two-currency (ruble and yuan) program. The ruble was introduced in place of the US dollar.
In 2014, the Russian Central Bank and the People’s Bank of China signed a three-year currency swap agreement, worth 150 billion yuan (around $23.5 billion), thus boosting financial cooperation between the two countries.

It’s now up to the State Duma, Russia’s lower house of parliament, to ratify the president’s bill to become law.

READ MORE: China approves usage of ruble instead of US dollar for border city

RT News

Current Events Ukraine Uncategorized

Ukrainian lawmakers set to remove PM

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7fb2dd5b-6cef-4281-ba24-5322b6de58afUkrainian lawmakers are set to remove the embattled country’s Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk over corruption charges.

The legislators will remove Yatsenyuk from his post through voting next week after a temporary investigative anti-corruption commission is established, Sergei Kaplin, the representative of the largest faction in the Ukrainian parliament, Petro Poroshenko Bloc, said on Friday.

Kaplin further added that signatures are being gathered for the establishment of the commission in the parliament.

The commission will investigate the statements made by the former chairman of the Ukrainian State Financial Inspection, Nikolai Gordienko, who accused Yatsenyuk of corruption.

Yatsenyuk dismissed Gordienko in early March and ordered his activities to be investigated.

The premier also accused Gordienko of failing to successfully control state property and state finances.

Gordienko, however, accused the premier of covering up corruption schemes, saying his cabinet blocked the investigation into the corruption schemes from the time of the former government, an allegation denied by Yatsenyuk’s cabinet.

According to Gordienko, Ukraine’s Ukrtelecom Telecom Company was privatized in violation of the law and caused “billions” in damage.

This comes as Ukraine has been witnessing a months-long deadly conflict in its eastern parts.

The two mainly Russian-speaking regions of Donetsk and Luhansk have been hit by deadly clashes between pro-Russia forces and the Ukrainian army since Kiev launched military operations in April last year to crush pro-Russia protests there.

In May 2014, the situation in the two flashpoint regions started to worsen as residents overwhelmingly voted for independence from Ukraine in referendums.

During peace talks in the Belarusian capital city of Minsk on February 11-12, the leaders of Germany, France, Russia and Ukraine agreed on the withdrawal of heavy weapons from Ukraine’s frontlines and a ceasefire, which officially went into effect on February 15. The warring sides, however, have continued to engage in sporadic clashes.

More than 6,000 people have died in the conflict, the UN says. Around 1.5 million people have also been forced from their homes over the past months of the turmoil.

NY Times

Current Events Putin Russia Uncategorized

Putin Ratification of BRICS New Bank Deal

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BRICS Nations

BRICS Nations

Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a law ratifying the deal establishing the BRICS New Development Bank (NDB), according to a document published on Monday on Russia’s official website for legal information.

The BRICS New Development Bank (NDB) was set up to challenge two major Western-led giants – the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. NDB’s key role will be to serve as a pool of currency for infrastructure projects within a group of five countries with major emerging national economies – Russia, Brazil, India, China and South Africa.

According to the Russian Finance Ministry, the New Development Bank is expected to start functioning fully by the end of the year, with the headquarters slated for opening in Shanghai. The chairmanship, with a term of five years, will rotate among the members.

It’s hoped the new bank will stamp the growing influence of the BRICS. The NDB is expected to become one of the world’s key institutions, with a stated capital of $100 billion. Each of the five-member countries is expected to allocate an equal share of the $50 billion startup capital that will be expanded to $100 billion. Russia has agreed to provide $2 billion from the federal budget for the bank over the next seven years.

The bank, which will be able to start lending in 2016, will be open to other countries that are members of the United Nations. The BRICS share is never to decline below 55 percent, however. The money will be used to finance development projects in the emerging economies.

India will serve as the first five-year rotating president, and the first Chairman of the Board of Directors will be Brazilian.

The bank was first proposed in 2012. The signing of the agreement to create the joint development bank by the heads of the five countries took place at the BRICS summit in Fortaleza, Brazil, in June 2014.