Russia considers yuan, ruble for Chinese gas deals

Government had considered using the U.S. dollar.
By Daniel J. Graeber Follow @dan_graeber Contact the Author   |   June 26, 2014 at 9:42 AM
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MOSCOW, June 26 (UPI) -- The head of the accounting department at Russian energy company Gazprom says there's no risk in using either Chinese or Russian currencies for gas transactions.

"In regard to using the yuan or rubles in accounting, we are basically ready for that, we think that this is completely normal," Gazprom finance chief Andrei Kruglov said. "There are no risks for Gazprom, except for minor transaction expenses."

One Chinese yuan traded Thursday for 5.4 Russian rubles.

Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak had said gas payments would be made in U.S. dollars. The Finance Ministry is considering switching to the ruble for export goods.

First deliveries from a 30-year contract signed between China and Russia in May would start with the delivery of 1.3 trillion cubic feet through a Russian gas pipeline to China as early as 2018.

Gazprom has sought entrance into the growing Asian market in an effort to diversify an asset base tied to a European economy still struggling to grow. Ongoing disputes over gas debt in Ukraine, which transports the bulk of Russian gas supplies to Europe, adds another layer of risk to Gazprom's consumer foundation.

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