BOFIT Viikkokatsaus / BOFIT Weekly 2019/41

At the beginning of this month, Russia and Turkey signed an agreement that seeks, among other things, to increase the use of national currencies in their bilateral trade, expand possibilities to use the Russian MIR payment card in Turkey and connect Turkish banks with Russia’s national SPFS payment system.

Use of the Russian ruble is currently mainly limited to CIS countries, which denominate over 60 % of their trade with Russia in rubles. Use of the ruble has increased in recent years in Russia’s trade with India and China. About a third of Russia-India trade last year was denominated in rubles, and about 6 % of Russia-China trade. In addition, apparently over 10 % of Russia-China trade was denominated in yuan.

Three foreign banks, all based in the CIS region, currently participate in Russia’s national SPFS payment system. The MIR payment card can now be used outside Russia in a few CIS countries and Turkey.