INTERVIEW: Russia, Argentina may switch to settlements in euros
MOSCOW, Dec 4 (PRIME) -- The euro may become an alternative payment means for trade settlements between Russia and Argentina, Russian ambassador to Argentina Dmitry Feoktistov said in an interview with PRIME released on Tuesday.
“The use of the euro might be an alternative. It is clear that all settlements in the U.S. dollar are performed by the U.S. banks. Moreover, there are no direct correspondent accounts between Russian and Argentinian banks. We could have had no such problems with the euro,” he said.
Russian President Vladimir Putin and Argentinian President Mauricio Macri discussed switching to trade settlements in the national currencies at their December 1 meeting at the G20 summit, Feoktistov also said.
There is a good example of cooperation between Argentine and China.
“There is a U.S. $20 billion foreign exchange swap… Chinese companies operate actively here, the yuan is one of Argentine’s reserve currencies. Why not do it with the ruble? Why don’t Russian banks come here to serve among other things and primarily huge mutual projects of our companies?
“We are very interested in a Russian bank’s presence in Argentine to help our businesspeople implement local projects.”
Argentina plans neither to discriminate nor to grant any privileges to Russian companies, the ambassador also said. He added that the Argentinian market is not too crowded as Western companies enter it slowly due to its high volatility and as “the Argentinian economy is uncompetitive and closed” as well as because of the “social and economic instability and the unclear outcome of the next presidential election slated for November 2019.”
“As far as the Argentinian market is concerned, is not overcrowded, we transmit a signal to our companies that they should enter it as soon as possible,” Feoktistov said and added that trade turnover between the states rose 25% to around $1 billion in 2018.
“It is good on the one hand, but on the other hand let’s look at other countries’ figures… The U.S.–Argentinian turnover stands at $12 billion, and the figures stand at $12 billion with China and $27 billion with Brazil… We should enter here more actively.”
The official also said that Russia and Argentina may have joint peaceful nuclear projects in Latin America.
“Many states of the region are also interested in giving their economies an impetus. Many countries if they do not stagnate, they have an economic growth slow-down so it is natural that almost all Latin American states are interested in all profitable projects,” he said.
A strategic partnership document on the use of nuclear power was signed at the presence of Putin and Macri at the G20 summit.
According to Feoktistov, Russia and Argentina are considering three possible ways of cooperation in the nuclear power sphere, including construction of a $10 billion nuclear reactor, which is too an expensive project for Argentina. Russia may build the reactor under a state and private partnership or the build-own-operate mechanism used by Russian state nuclear company Rosatom in several states worldwide.