On Jan.18, the Egyptian pound was one of nine currencies that the Russian central bank added to its list of exchange rates. Due to this decision, Egypt will be able to import goods from Russia in Egyptian pounds. Visitors from Egypt to Russia will also be able to easily convert their Egyptian pounds into Russian rubles. This will in turn cause less reliance on US dollar reserves, as Egypt has been experiencing a recent foreign currency shortage.
The other eight currencies are the UAE dirham, the Thai baht, the Vietnamese dong, the Serbian dinar, the New Zealand dollar, the Georgian lari, the Indonesian rupiah, and the Qatari riyal. According to the central bank’s official website, The official exchange rate between the Egyptian pound and the Russian ruble is EGP 10 to 23.3 rubles (EGP 1 to 2.3 rubles).
Russia and Egypt have been conducting trade deals in both of their local currencies since September due to the Western sanctions put on Russia after the outbreak of the Russian-Ukrainian war. This has led both countries to resort to using the pound or the Ruble in trade exchange.
Due to the tight economic ties between the two nations, significant effort has been made to assist one another while facing financial difficulties. For example, Russian Ambassador, Georgy Borisenko, said back in Sept. 2022 that Russia will keep negotiating with Egypt’s Central Bank for the approval of its “Mir payment cards,” which were originally issued in 2014. The Mir Russian bank card operates using the ruble payment system and can be used to make transfers abroad. Borisenko expressed that the approval of such a payment system will act as a catalyst for Russian tourism in Egypt; as Russian tourism is a significant source of revenue for Egypt, with around 700,000 Russian tourists visiting the country in 2021.
As for the Egyptian pound, before its initial devaluation in March 2022, it was trading at a rate of EGP 15.78 versus the US dollar. Since then, there have been two more devaluations of the pound, with the US dollar now equivalent to EGP29.89.