Press review: Russia wants unconditional property return and Kiev replies to Malorossiya

Nezavisimaya Gazeta: Ruble trying to build on its BRICS base

The ruble occupies the 20th place out of 150 currencies in terms of its use in international settlements and the Russian currency accounts for 0.26% of transactions worldwide, Nezavisimaya Gazeta wrote citing a report by the Russian Institute for Strategic Studies (RISS). Researchers called for a sober assessment of the ruble’s place, which is not only a financial instrument, but also a reflection of the nation’s economy.

"If we compare the ratio of the national currency's share in international settlements to the country's place in the global economy and trade, then this ratio for the ruble - around 15% - corresponds to the positions of the currencies of emerging economies such as China (6th place) and Mexico (18th place)," the report said. At the same time, according to RISS experts, the popularity of the Russian currency in international transactions is still quite high. "Despite economic sanctions, the ruble's share in the total volume of payments in Russia’s foreign trade is at a level comparable to the Chinese yuan," the report said. According to the results of Q3 2016, this indicator was 23%, while the share of RMB (yuan) in China's foreign trade sank to 22%.

"It is too early to talk about the possibility for the ruble to become an international currency. For this a currency should be stable, which in turn implies a stable economy. Under the current conditions, where the ruble is very dependent on the energy market’s undercurrents, the ruble is a currency with high volatility. In this case, using it in international settlements carries increased risks, which repels foreign companies," Finam analyst Bogdan Zvarich told Nezavisimaya Gazeta.

"The ruble will not become the world’s reserve currency in the near future. Russia’s economy has a very slim share on the world’s GDP - around 2.5%, and exports are even smaller. Moreover, our exports are also very limited both by the list of goods and by the number of consumers. Another important factor is underdeveloped financial market and significant volatility of the national currency," Forex Optimum analyst Ivan Kapustiansky told the newspaper.

"Nevertheless, the transition from a raw material economy to an economy with large additional capital is a very slow one. Every year the share of non-oil and gas goods in exports increases, but it is still far from prevailing. Therefore, at this point the government needs to strengthen the ruble as a regional currency - this is what the ruble is - and in the future this will become a strong base for including the ruble in the world reserve currency basket," he added.