"Financial operations can now be carried out using national currencies, which means a blow to the hegemony of the dollar," Russian Ambassador to Bolivia Mikhail Ledenyov told Russian state-owned news agency RIA Novosti on Tuesday, Feb. 14. RT also reported that Bolivia has shown interest in strengthening its energy cooperation with Russia in recent years, including mining projects and trade.
"With the participation of the embassy, interbank cooperation is actively developing," the ambassador stated. "Last year, a number of video conferences were held between the leadership of the central banks of both countries."
Ledenyov added that this resulted in direct correspondent accounts in their currencies being opened between Gazprombank and Union, the largest Bolivian state-owned bank. He added that this facilitated the work of Russian companies in the Andean market.
"This is important because financial transactions can now be carried out directly in national currencies. This already facilitates the work of Russian companies in the market," he explained.
According to Ledenyov, Bolivian companies are interested in exporting tropical fruits, soybeans, wine, alcoholic beverages, coffee, lithium, tin, gold and silver to Russia. Bolivia has vast reserves of lithium, a mineral that is vital to electric batteries and has therefore been dubbed "the new oil" by some. The nation has been negotiating with foreign mining companies, including Russian firms. It also plans to become a supplier of electric batteries to the global market.
Moreover, both Moscow and La Paz expressed interest in increasing health cooperation. "Bolivia has areas where it is difficult to build and manage a stationary hospital. However, mobile diagnostic methods can be used, with different technologies and special vehicles. This project is under negotiation," Ledenyov said.
The ambassador hopes that Bolivians will present their proposals at the next meeting of the Russia-Bolivia Intergovernmental Commission set this year.
The movement to take off the United States dollar dominance in worldwide trade is everywhere in Europe, Asia, South Africa and South America.
Established by Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS), the New BRICS Development Bank is now led by Brazil's ex-President Dilma Rousseff after Brazil garnered the backing of the other nations in the coalition. Based in Shanghai, China, BRICS Bank was formed as an alternative to the World Bank and International Monetary Fund and is responsible for funding projects in the five member countries.
And now that new Brazilian President Lula Da Silva has expressed distress regarding the dollar's dominance in Brazilian trade, he has proposed to create a reserve currency to fulfill their economic goals. He emphasized that BRICS was not created for defense, but as an offensive tool. This currency would be formed from a combination of the Chinese yuan, the Russian ruble, the Indian rupee, the Brazilian real and the South African rand.
According to Pavel Knyazev, deputy director of the Russian Foreign Ministry's Foreign Policy Planning Department, the prospects of setting up a common single currency based on a basket of currencies of the BRICS countries are being discussed. (Related: BRICS member nations are creating new reserve currency to challenge the dollar, Andy Schectman tells Mike Adams.)
The group of developing nations has previously declared their intention to create a shared payment network that would decrease their reliance on the Western financial system. In fact, they have been utilizing local currencies more often in trade.
Knyazev said: "This is not an easy task. The roadmap for the gradual increase in the share of national currencies in mutual settlements. Therefore, I do not think that this process will be accelerated, but the intention is serious."
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