Russia, Turkey agree on using rouble, lira in mutual settlements

and signed an agreement to increase the use of local currencies -- Turkish Lira and Russian Ruble -- in bilateral trade, the Russian announced on Tuesday.

Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov has signed an agreement with on using national currencies in payments and settlements between the two countries, the Russian finance ministry said on Tuesday.

The agreement, signed on Oct. 4, is aimed at gradually switching to using the rouble and the lira in mutual settlements, the ministry said.

The agreement envisages connecting Turkish banks and companies to the Russian version of SWIFT payment system, while enhancing the infrastructure in Turkey that would allow using the Russian MIR cards, designed by Moscow as alternative to MasterCard and VISA.

Parties will also develop debt securities for Russian and Turkish exporters.

The agreement is a significant step for increasing fair trade and economic cooperation between two countries, according to the announcement.

Two countries' bilateral trade totaled $25.4 billion last year, with dominated it by making nearly $22 billion export to Turkey.

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