The National Bank of Belarus has excluded the euro from the basket of foreign currencies. The change comes into effect on December 12.
The regulator's website says that this decision is a consequence of a reduction in trade with the EU countries and, as a result, a decrease in payments in euros. At the same time, “there is a steady upward trend in the volume of foreign trade” between Belarus and the countries of the Eurasian Economic Union, in particular, with Russia and China. From now on, the share of the Russian ruble in the basket of foreign currencies of the Republic of Belarus will be 60%, the US dollar - 30%, the Chinese yuan - 10%.
The National Bank emphasizes that euro trading will continue on the stock exchange of Belarus. The official exchange rate of the Belarusian ruble against the euro will depend on data on the cross-rate of the euro against the US dollar in international financial markets.
Belarusian economist Yaroslav Romanchuk believes that the change in the currency basket of Belarus reflects the state of the country's economy:
“The authorities of Belarus are aware that in the near future the prospects for unfreezing relations with the European Union are equal to zero. They also cannot throw the dollar out of the basket, since a significant proportion of settlements take place in dollars, and it is the currency that the population of Belarus prefers. The increase in the share of the ruble and the yuan is the reorientation of the economy that Lukashenka spoke about. This, of course, creates additional risks of absorption of the Belarusian economy by the Russian one. In addition, Russia has already forgiven Belarus part of the debt and restructured it.
I think that next year the share of exports of Belarusian goods to Russia will increase, and after that the question of replacing the Belarusian ruble with the Russian one may arise. Now the National Bank of Belarus has even less room to maneuver in monetary policy.”