Instability forcing Russia away from dollar settlements
"We are not aiming to move away from the dollar, the dollar runs away from us," Putin said at an annual investment forum "Russia Calling".
He said that many countries, including closest partners of the United States, were reducing the share of dollars in their currency reserves, as a result of Washington's sanctions policy, which complicates dollar transactions.
Those who take these sanctions decisions "shoot themselves not in the foot, but a little higher, because such instability in dollar settlements makes many economies in the world seek alternative reserve currencies and create payment systems independent from the dollar," Putin added.
Many countries including Russia are forced to look for alternatives to dollar settlements, he said.
Putin cited as an example Russia's trade with the Eurasian Economic Union, in which 70 percent of Russian exports and 30 percent of imports were conducted in Russian rubles.
The recent deal to supply S-400 air defense systems to Turkey was also made without using U.S. dollars, Putin said. Moscow provided Ankara with a ruble loan for the purpose, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said.
Russia was also working with its major trade partners to create a system independent from the SWIFT global interbank payments system for transmitting information and making payments.
"We will keep doing this, but we do not want to take any abrupt steps, which would harm us," Putin said. ■