MOSCOW, Aug 15 (Reuters) – Two of Russia’s biggest mining companies said on Wednesday they were investigating rouble-based payments schemes, amid calls from Moscow to reduce the role of the U.S. dollar in Russian trade and so limit the impact of U.S. sanctions.
The Kremlin said on Monday that Russia favoured bilateral trade with all countries in their national currencies, rather than the dollar, but that the idea needed detailed work before being implemented.
Russia’s Norilsk Nickel, which vies with Brazil’s Vale SA to be the world’s biggest nickel producer and is the world’s top palladium producer, said on Wednesday it was discussing the possibility of settling payments in roubles with foreign customers that had signalled their readiness for such an arrangement.
Russian miner Alrosa, the world’s largest producer of rough diamonds in carat terms, also said on Wednesday it was testing a mechanism to settle payments in Russia’s currency.
“By way of an experiment, such deals were completed with clients in China and India,” the company said in a statement. “Should the need arise, the company is ready to implement this rouble-based payments scheme in future,” Alrosa said.