MOSCOW, October 8 (RIA Novosti) - A Kremlin aide said on Thursday it could be advantageous to switch to non-dollar oil payments, but that he had not heard of any discussions on the issue.
Britain's Independent newspaper reported on Tuesday that Russian officials had held "secret meetings" with Arab states, China and France on ending the use of the U.S. dollar in international oil trading.
"We have long been saying that there is some sense in creating the conditions for making ruble payments, including for oil, attractive," Arkady Dvorkovich said. "The subject is worth discussing, but I do not know if specific talks on the issue are underway."
According to The Independent, the countries are reportedly seeking to switch from the dollar to a basket of currencies including the euro, Japanese yen, Chinese yuan, gold, and a new unified currency of leading Arab oil producing countries.
"Secret meetings have already been held by finance ministers and central bank governors in Russia, China, Japan and Brazil to work on the scheme, which will mean that oil will no longer be priced in dollars," the paper said.
The Independent said the meetings have been confirmed by Chinese and Arab banking sources.
"These plans will change the face of international financial transactions," a Chinese banker told the paper. "America and Britain must be very worried. You will know how worried by the thunder of denials this news will generate."
The dollar plummeted on Tuesday after the paper's article, while gold surged well above $1,000 an ounce in international trading.