Transition to ruble settlements with Russia would further weaken hryvnia - expert

2011-11-03 16:53:44

Only Russia will benefit from payments for gas in the rubles, while Ukraine will suffer from an even greater weakening of the hryvnia and deterioration of cooperation with the IMF, according to an independent energy expert, Oleksandr Narbut.

"It is necessary to strengthen the local currency. It would be appropriate in the Ukrainian interests to promote the opportunities of hryvnia settlements on international contracts," he said.

Indeed, according to the expert, in the process of exports, the number of contracts concluded in the rubles, is extremely low. "Today, Naftogaz of Ukraine buys dollars to pay for natural gas deliveries. And tomorrow it may be necessary to buy rubles. And this additional demand for rubles only benefits the holders of Russian rubles, that is, Russian issuers and the Russian state," Narbut said.

Forming an additional demand for the currency of the neighboring state when the National Bank's currency reserves are falling is contrary to the interests of Ukraine, he said.

As reported, the National Bank of Ukraine agreed on the possibility of Naftogaz' payments for the gas imported from Russia in rubles. The decision was made as a result of negotiations of NBU Chairman Serhiy Arbuzov with Russia's Acting Finance Minister Anton Siluanov, the leadership of the Russian Central Bank and OJSC Gazprom.

Minister of Energy and Coal Industry of Ukraine Yuriy Boiko does not exclude that the Russian gas price calculation in rubles could begin in November.