Saturday, 26 November, 2022
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Nepal for creating currency exchange mechanism with Russia

MOSCOW: Nepalese Ambassador to Russia Milan Raj Tuladhar said Moscow and Kathmandu could create a mechanism for mutual exchanges in national currencies, similar to the one being created by Russia and India, reports Sputnik News.

The ambassador stated that the mechanism could be in a form of barter based in national currencies. However this would presuppose cooperation between the central banks of Nepal and Russia, Tuladhar said on sunday.

We can make a mechanism like the Indians have done with rupees and rubles. Because we will also be importing and we will also be exporting, so it will be a kind of barter but in our own currencies and not in other currencies. That should be possible through proper banking channels, the diplomat said.

The diplomat noted that there are currently some issues with banking operations with Russia, which he hopes will soon be solved with proper banking services.

Kathmandu hopes to become a full member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) and expects progress will be made at 2023 summit, Milan Raj Tuladhar said.

Nepal has been a dialogue partner country of the SCO since 2016, the diplomat said, adding that the authorities hope that progress on the membership will be made at the summit in India.

We have been there since 2016, now we are also aspiring to be full member. We hope that in next meeting... the twenty first head of states council meeting [which] will be held in India, we hope that our aspiration to become full member of this organisation will be fulfilled some time soon, the diplomat said.

Kathmandu is already preparing its membership application, Tuladhar said, without going into further details.

The SCO is an international organisation founded by China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Russia and Uzbekistan in 2001. In 2017, India and Pakistan were also admitted to the organisation.

The SCO observer countries include Afghanistan, Belarus, Iran and Mongolia, while the partner countries are Armenia, Azerbaijan, Cambodia, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Turkey.

The SCO also launched the procedure for granting a dialogue partner status to Egypt, Qatar and Saudi Arabia in September 2021.

In 2022, Iran signed a memorandum of obligations with the SCO, paving the way for the country to join the organisation, and Belarus began the procedure of becoming a full member of the alliance.