Myanmar wants to lessen its reliance on the US dollar by instead using the Chinese and Russian currencies, which a spokesman for the ruling junta said some countries are using “to bully smaller nations”.
Min Aung Hlaing, the head of the military government, discussed “replacing the use of dollar with other currencies such as yuan, rupee and rouble as well as the barter system” in a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin earlier this month, Major General Zaw Min Tun, the lead spokesman for the State Administration Council, said on Tuesday according to SCMP.
Both countries have reached an agreement to use the barter system for Myanmar’s fertiliser imports from Russia while its fuel oil purchases from the country will be paid in rouble, the spokesman said.
The central banks of Myanmar and Russia are in discussions about direct payments in rouble and kyat, said Zaw Min Tun.
Myanmar will also soon allow the use of Mir cards, a Russian card payment system for electronic fund transfers, and enable Bank of Russia’s messaging system to facilitate bilateral trade and investment, he said.
“We expect bilateral economic cooperation to grow sharply,” once the central banks of Myanmar and Russia sign a pact, he said.
The Myanmar military regime’s warm ties with Russia is also helping it boost key supplies amid soaring commodity prices, Zaw Min Tun said.
Government agencies and public transport services will be prioritised in distribution of the imported fuel, he said, adding that Myanmar also plans to build a small nuclear plant in the next few years.