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SOURCE: TNN

In the first three months of this year, trade between the Russian Federation and the Brics countries increased by 38% and reached $45 billion, said President Vladimir Putin. “Contacts between Russian business circles and the business community of the Brics countries have intensified.

For example, negotiations are under way to open Indian chain stores in Russia, increase the share of Chinese cars, equipment and hardware on our market. In its turn, Russia’s presence in the Brics countries is growing,” said Putin.

India’s decision to import more oil from Russia has led to friction in its ties with Western countries, including the US, even though Russian oil accounts for no more than 2% of its total oil imports. India has defended its purchase saying despite the sanctions Europe itself continues to import Russian energy. Russia exports considerable amounts of fertilisers to the Brics states and Putin said Russian IT companies are expanding their activities in India and South Africa.

“Together with Brics partners, we are developing reliable alternative mechanisms for international settlements. The Russian financial messaging system is open for connection with the banks of the Brics countries. We are exploring the possibility of creating an international reserve currency based on the basket of Brics currencies,” said Putin.