Speaking overall of Russian politicians' reaction to the imposed sanctions, Prime Minister D.Medvedev regards them as a declaration of economic war against Russia, although First Deputy PM A.Siluanov doesn't consider sanctions as a deadly force. "Trade volume between the US and Russia is small. Last year, it amounted to only 23 billion dollars. By this reason, even a complete cessation of bilateral trade will not be a fatal blow for our country," he said.
In expert's opinion, an economic war against Russia was declared too late. "This was clear to many economists and politicians 4 years ago, along with the first sanctions from Washington. But some Russian ministries don't understand that our country is in a state of economic war now. In particular, a major part of Russia's gold and foreign exchange reserves (gold reserves), which is 370 billion dollars, is held in foreign currency and bonds, in dollars, and in first class banks, which include US banks. Are these assets of the Central Bank, which accumulate our gold reserves, protected?" RISS expert raised the question.
Transition to national currencies in trade can help to find a way out of a deadlocked situation. "We have been talking about the transition to such calculations for 9 years already. Our Central Bank agreed on 150 billion yuan swap line with the People's Bank of China in the autumn 2014, but only about 10% of bilateral trade is conducted in yuan and rubles. Why is transition to national currencies so slow? And another problem: the latest round of US sanctions will affect Russian banks and Russian debt. As a result, many banks may face the threat of reducing operations or blocking their accounts. We have been working on the idea of issuing federal loan bonds denominated in yuan instead of dollars for a long time. This issue has been discussing since the las year," he said.
"Russia has an alternative to the Western financial market. This is a huge Chinese market. First of all, the market of loans, bonds, and shares denominated in yuan. But we are not using this market fully," he concluded.