Russia’s Gazprombank offers Egypt to use rule in grain deals

Russia’s Gazprombank has proposed to Egypt that it consider using the Russian national currency in certain deals, Mounir Fakhri Abd-Nur said.

Gazprombank, Russia’s third-largest lender, has offered Egypt to use the Russian national currency in certain deals, Egyptian minister of Industry said Tuesday.

In an interview with Russian RIA Novosti, Minister Mounir Fakhry Abdel Nour said: “I received a letter yesterday (Monday) from Gazprombank. They have offered to come to Egypt sometime in September to talk and negotiate the details and technicalities of using the ruble in specific grain deals and loans,”

He added that last June he met with Russian grain exporters, who were open to receiving payment in rubles. Abdel Nour stressed that receiving loans in rubles instead of dollars would be of even greater interest to Egypt.

In the beginning of 2015, then Egyptian Minister of Tourism Hisham Zazou said Cairo and Moscow were planning to use the ruble in mutual payments. However, his successor, Khaled Abbas Rami, told Sputnik that it this is unlikely, since Egypt needed “hard currency.”

The ruble lost about half its value against the dollar in late 2014 amid low global oil prices and Western economic sanctions against Russia, imposed over the Ukrainian crisis. However, the ruble has since regained some ground.

In November 2014, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Moscow was leaving the “dollar dictatorship,” focusing on using other currencies, such as the ruble and the yuan, in trade.

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