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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Joint Currency Pursued

MOSCOW () -- Belarussian president Alexander Lukashenko said Thursday he was still ready to sign a monetary union with Russia but Moscow had effectively stopped talks on the idea.

Speaking at a news conference before a summit of the Commonwealth of Independent States, Lukashenko said his republic still wanted to pursue the idea of uniting the two countries' currencies, originally agreed in principle in September 1993.

The monetary union, originally planned for January 1994, failed to happen because Russia told Belarus its inflation rate was too high to make it possible.

Lukashenko said the idea was not dead. "If Russia agreed I would be ready to sign tomorrow," he added.