West Piling Up Pressure on China to Limit Russia's Access to Yuan, Russian Finance Minister Says
11:39 GMT 13.03.2022 (Updated: 13:59 GMT 13.03.2022)
Russia is currently under tough sanctions imposed by the US and its allies over Moscow's ongoing special military operation in Ukraine.
Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov has said that the West is putting pressure on China to restrict Moscow's access to the yuan.
"We know that part of our gold and foreign exchange reserves is in the Chinese currency, the yuan. And we see Western countries exert pressure on China in order to limit [Russia's] mutual trade with Beijing", he told the Russian broadcaster Rossiya 1 on Sunday.
"No doubt, the pressure is being piled on in order to limit [Russia's] access to those reserves that we have in yuan", Siluanov added.
He expressed hope that Russia's partnership with China will allow both sides to maintain the level of cooperation that they have achieved, "and not only maintain, but also expand it in conditions when Western markets are closed".
The Russian finance minister spoke after Russia's state-run VTB Bank
, which was earlier hit by US sanctions, offered its clients the opportunity to open Chinese yuan savings accounts that stipulate a maximum interest rate of 8%.
The country's second-largest lender said in a statement that "in light of the rising dollar and euro exchange rates, many clients are showing interest in investing in other currencies, and the yuan is one of the most affordable and promising options for investing funds".
In late February, Washington imposed sanctions on VTB by cutting the bank off from direct access to the US dollar. The lender responded by emphasising that it has "worked through several plans to counter the sanctions in ways which minimise the negative consequences" for its clients.
The sanctions were imposed over Russia's ongoing special military operation in Ukraine
to demilitarise and de-Nazify the country. The operation, which was announced by Russian President Vladimir Putin on 24 February, is only targeting Ukraine's military infrastructure and doesn't pose a threat to the civilian population.
Let's stay in touch no matter what! Follow our Telegram channel to get all the latest news: https://t.me/sputniknewsus