The idea of weaning the Russian economy off the dollar does not envisage any restrictions on using the greenback by Russians and the government has never had any plans to convert dollar deposits into rubles, Finance Minister and First Deputy Prime Minister Anton Siluanov said in an interview with the program "Moscow. Kremlin. Putin" of the Rossiya-1 TV channel, TASS reports.
"Many think that we are calling to dump the dollar: one needs to rush to banks and withdraw foreign currency as soon as possible. This is absolutely not so. I want to say that we did not have any such ideas. On the contrary, we are liberalizing our foreign trade and liberalizing our activity inside the country," Siluanov said.
The Russian government has never had any plans on converting the Russians’ dollar accounts into rubles, the minister stressed. "I can definitely say that these proposals won’t be implemented: on the contrary, we oppose various restrictions," he said. "As for savings in dollars, this is the choice of each citizen," Siluanov said.
In August, Siluanov said the US dollar was becoming a risky tool for accounts and did not rule out giving up the greenback in oil payments and switching to other currencies, including the ruble.
Russia’s Finance Ministry, the Economic Development Ministry and the Central Bank have put forward their proposals to the government on weaning the economy off the dollar, Economic Development Minister Maxim Oreshkin said earlier.
Deputy Finance Minister Alexei Moiseyev said the liberalization of currency control and de-dollarization of banks’ balances would encourage Russia’s accounts in national currency. Moscow is considering switching to accounts in national currencies in response to Washington’s possible ban on deals in dollars for Russian state banks, he said.