Russia, Tunisia Ministers to Discuss Possible Use of Ruble in Mutual Trade

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Tunisian top level official does not deny the possibility of using the ruble in bilateral trade.

MOSCOW (Sputnik), Svetlana Alexandrova — Tunisian Trade Minister Mohsen Hassen told Sputnik he would discuss the possibility of using the ruble in bilateral trade with his Russian counterpart Denis Manturov during a joint intergovernmental commission's meeting in Moscow.

A Tunisian guard looks out of the main gate of media center for its parliamentary election in Tunis, capital of Tunisia, on Oct. 25, 2014 - Sputnik International
Russian-Tunisian Commission Meets in Moscow to Discuss Strategic Dev-t
Earlier on Thursday, Russian-Tunisian Joint Intergovernmental Commission's meeting kicked off in the Russian capital.

"Our objective now is to have another mean of payment, namely the ruble, in our trade exchanges. This is one of the subjects that has been emphasized during the Russian-Tunisian business forum and will be discussed at the upcoming intergovernmental commission," Hassen said.

The minister added the major obstacle for boosting the bilateral trade between Moscow and Tunis was the ruble instability that was slowing down the expansion of trade between the two countries.

Russian Ruble - Sputnik International
Tunisia, Russia to Consider Use of Ruble in Bilateral Trade
The Russian ruble lost about half of its value against the dollar in late 2014, as the country’s economy was hit by low oil prices and Western economic sanctions.

Hassen noted that the two countries were examining the possibility of using national currencies, namely the ruble and the dinar, for the transactions for an extended period.

"We put forward the proposal and we are still waiting for the response from the Russian government," he said.

Russia and Tunisia had agreed to establish a working group to discuss the technical details of such a payment mechanism, Tunisian Ambassador to Russia Ali Goutali told Sputnik earlier in March, adding that this initiative has been already discussed it with the Russian Ministry of Economic Development and the Central Bank.

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