Russia’s Gazprom said on Tuesday it had signed an agreement to start switching payments for gas supplies to China to yuan and rubles instead of dollars, reports Nikkei Asia. The shift is part of a push by Russia to reduce its reliance on the US dollar, euro and other hard currencies in its banking system and for trade—a drive that Moscow has accelerated since it was hit with Western sanctions in response to its invasion of Ukraine.
Russia has been forging closer economic ties with China and other non-Western countries, in particular as new markets for its vital hydrocarbon exports. Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller said allowing for payments in Russian rubles and Chinese yuan was “mutually beneficial” for both Gazprom and Beijing’s state-owned China National Petroleum Corporation.
“It will simplify the calculations, become an excellent example for other companies and give an additional impetus for the development of our economies,” he said.