95% of Russia’s trade with China and India was conducted in national currencies last year, according to Tatiana Monaghan, secretary general of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), in a statement made on Monday.

The US dollar and euro’s share of Russia’s export settlements has dramatically decreased, according to the ICC, from 85.6% in January–December 2021 to 34.1% in January–May of 2023.

The data showed that the share of the Russian ruble increased to 39.1% during that time, while settlements in currencies of what Russia classified as “friendly” nations rose to 26.9%.

Monaghan said, “95% of settlements in the Chinese and Indian directions in 2023 were carried out in national currencies. China has become Russia’s key trade partner accounting for 29% of the trade turnover.”

Following a raft of Western sanctions designed to cut off Moscow from the Western financial system, Russia and its trading partners started to settle bilateral trade obligations using their national currencies.

Over the last two years, China’s exports to Russia have increased significantly throughout a myriad of categories. According to the data, deliveries of technical equipment rose by more than 50% to reach $25.2 billion, as imports of electrical equipment and machinery surged by over 30% to $17 billion. Supplies of cars and other vehicle types to Russia skyrocketed by more than 250%, hitting $22.2 billion.

According to the ICC, more than 75% of Russia’s foreign commerce was with what the Kremlin classified as “friendly” countries in 2023.

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