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Russia, North Korea to switch to ruble settlements
June 5, 2014, 10:08 am

 

"Settlements in ruble will begin from this month. Such an opportunity will emerge between Russia and the DPRK - the first accounts have already been opened at Russian banks," Russia's Far East Development Minister Alexander Galushka said [AP]

“Settlements in ruble will begin from this month. Such an opportunity will emerge between Russia and the DPRK – the first accounts have already been opened at Russian banks,” Russia’s Far East Development Minister Alexander Galushka said [AP]

Russia and North Korea are ready for settlements in ruble in bilateral trade, a Russian minister said Thursday.

“Settlements in ruble will begin from this month. Such an opportunity will emerge between Russia and the DPRK – the first accounts have already been opened at Russian banks,” Russia’s Far East Development Minister Alexander Galushka said after an intergovernmental commission session.

This will help bolster trade and business cooperation in a considerable way between the two countries, he said.

North Korean authorities have agreed to simplify visa procedures for Russian investors and Russian companies staff working in the DPRK, according to Galushka.

“Considerable progress has been made in this crucial segment of our relations,” the Russian minister said.

The Duma or Russian Parliament has recently written off a staggering $10 billion in debt that Pyongyang owed Moscow held over from the Soviet era.

Russia is keen on building a gas pipeline and a railway network to South Korea across the stretch of North Korea.

Putin in Seoul in November 2013 backed a new Asian-European rail trade route, a transport corridor linking the Asia-Pacific region, Central Asia, and Europe.

“We have decided to modernise the Baikal-Amur and Trans-Siberian railways and are putting considerable money into these projects, including from our reserve funds.”

“This marks the first practical steps towards carrying out the possible trilateral project of joining the Trans-Korean Railway to the Trans-Siberian Railway. We hope that South Korean investors will get actively involved in this big project,” urged the Russian President.

Putin said he was aware of the political limitations but urged that this project is of interest to all three parties: South Korea, North Korea, and Russia.

Putin also said Russia would back a reunification bid between the North and the South, provided it was “exclusively peaceful”.

Moscow has been trying to diversify its energy sales to Asia away from Europe and has already signed a massive $400 billion gas deal with China and is readying a second major agreement.

 

TBP and Agencies

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