23 Sep 2022 10:29

Russia in talks with African countries on combined settlement systems, including barter

ST. PETERSBURG. Sept 23 (Interfax) - Russia is working on new payment mechanisms for settlements with African countries, the chairman of the Coordination Committee on Economic Cooperation with African Countries (Afrocom), Igor Morozov said on Thursday.

"We need to develop our [international payment] instruments - sanctions are already being imposed against the Mir system," he told reporters at the Russia-Africa: Prospects for Cooperation conference in St. Petersburg.

A great deal of hope is being placed on the working group for developing new mechanisms in currency regulation and international settlements led by Kremlin aide Maxim Oreshkin, "which is supposed to work out these mechanisms soon," Morozov said.

"We need to see how we will work within the framework of national currencies" and use them for settlements with African countries, he said. "We need to work in this direction, understanding that SWIFT will never again be [the main system for interbank payments] for us," Morozov, who also serves on the Federation Council's Economic Policy Committee, said.

Talks on options for settlements between Russia and African countries in the current economic circumstances are already being held, but "we shouldn't get ahead of events," he said.

"African central banks are already beginning to come [to Russia]. Everyone understands that we are leaders in grain exports, leaders in sunflower oil, mineral fertilizers, and it is necessary to settle up," Morozov.

Other options for settlements could be barter and concessions, he said.

Speaking about the outlook for cooperation and possible Russian projects in Africa, Morozov said Russia can offer its competencies in hydropower, electric passenger transport, automobile manufacturing, farm machinery and pharmaceuticals.

Afrocom operates with the support of the Federation Council and government institutions, according to the committee's website.