Zimbabwe set to ditch dollar in trade with Russia – official – RT Africa

Settlements between countries could be arranged in local currencies or gold, an African politician has suggested

The central banks of Russia and Zimbabwe should establish local currency regulations and examine opportunities to secure trade in gold reserves, Zimbabwe’s ruling ZANU-PF party chairman Christopher Mutsvangwa told RIA Novosti on Wednesday.

The southern African country has been under Western sanctions for 22 years, the official noted, adding that the restrictions imposed on Russia should not handicap trade between the two countries.

Earlier this year, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov announced that Russia and African countries were developing a cooperation strategy to replace the US dollar and euro in settlements, adding that the parties were preparing documents on the reorganization of the cooperation mechanism under Western sanctions.

“Our banks should find a way to make the Russian ruble and the Zimbabwean dollar freely convertible. In addition, our countries both have rich gold reserves. We are among the top seven countries in terms of gold mining and production volumes are increasing. We now extract 35 tons per year, but we could extract the 50. So we could think of securing our trade in gold reserves”, suggested Mutswangwa.

The official went on to say that “nothing could go wrong” trade between Moscow and Harare, noting that China, India and Middle Eastern countries were also moving towards abandoning the dollar in the colonies.

The politician also wants to establish more banks using alternative payment systems to replace the West’s SWIFT messaging system. He noted that the dollar trade was “a limiting factor” adding that Russia and Africa should put in place “no more banks outside of the US-run SWIFT global banking system.”

Moscow regularly pursues a policy of dedollarization of foreign trade. In recent years, Russia and some of its trading partners, including India and China, have stepped up the use of national currencies in mutual settlements in an effort to move away from the dollar and euro.

Ties with Russia’s new trading partners in African countries, including Zimbabwe, have rapidly taken shape in recent years. In 2019, Russia hosted the first Russia-Africa Summit, with participants outlining priority areas for economic cooperation, security, culture and science. The second summit is scheduled to take place in St. Petersburg in July.

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