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Kazakhstan Rejects Moscow's Single Currency Proposal


A senior Kazakh official says the Central Asian nation will not accept a single currency in a trade bloc championed by Moscow.

Deputy Economy Minister Timur Zhaqsylyqov told reporters in Astana on April 22 that "Kazakhstan has a clear and consistent position on excluding the possibility of introducing a single currency within the framework of the Eurasian Economic Union (EES)."

It was Kazakhstan's first public rejection of Russian President Vladimir Putin's proposal last month to create a common currency between the four countries in the bloc, which includes Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Russia.

Economic strains have been growing between Kazakhstan and Russia. Since March, Kazakhstan has restricted sales of Russian food products, citing consumer safety concerns.

Russia cited the same reasons in imposing bans this month on Kazakh dairy products, fruits, and vegetables.

The tensions also reflect concerns in Kazakhstan about the Kremlin's intentions, given Moscow's interference in against Ukraine. Kazakhstan has a large Russian ethnic population.

Based on reporting by AFP, Kazinform, and zakon.kz
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