Transfer Ruble

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Transfer Ruble


(also transferable ruble), an accounting unit and means of payment in joint international accounts of countries that are members of the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance (COMECON). The transfer ruble is a collective, international, socialist currency. It was instituted in accordance with the Oct. 22, 1963, Agreement of the COMECON Countries on Multilateral Accounts in Transfer Rubles and on the Organization of the International Bank for Economic Cooperation (IBEC). The gold content of the transfer ruble is set at 0.987412 g of pure gold. Funds in this currency may be used freely by any country for its accounts and payments in any other country that is a party to the agreement

Transfer rubles are used in the international sphere for non-cash payments in commercial, credit, and other transactions. They do not circulate in concrete, physical form as do bank notes or treasury notes. The stability of the purchasing power of the transfer ruble is ensured by the firmly set gold content, the steadiness of foreign trade prices, and the planned character of mutual trade and handling of accounts among the participating countries. There are two principal sources of transfer-ruble capital for each country: (1) export of the country’s goods and services to countries that participate in multilateral settlement of accounts and (2) credits that are granted in this currency by IBEC and the International Investment Bank (IEB).

The transfer ruble went into use on Jan. 1, 1964, when the COMECON countries instituted the system of multilateral settlement of accounts. Transactions between participating countries are carried out by means of special accounts opened at IBEC or, with IBEC’s consent, at banks in the participating countries. Payments are made up to the limits of the funds in each bank, and the bank at which the account was opened is the manager of the funds in the accounts. The internal and borrowed resources of banks in the participating countries are delimited and accounted for in separate accounts. Interest is paid on money in IBEC accounts and deposits; the rate of interest depends on the period for which funds are left on deposit.

The use of transfer rubles promotes the development of economic relations between participating countries. Turnover in this currency is growing steadily. During the 1964–73 decade, the average annual turnover in payments among the countries that participate in IBEC was 32.4 billion transfer rubles. During this same period, IBEC granted a total of 22 billion transfer rubles in short-term credit.

The Comprehensive Program of Socialist Economic Integration stipulates the basic trends for the further consolidation and expansion of the role of the transfer ruble in both the currency sphere and the sphere of material production and foreign trade. These trends include extending the transfer ruble’s functions, ensuring that the exchange rate and gold content corresponds to real costs, and widening the sphere of application in accounts with other countries. These ends will be served by expansion of stable, multilateral foreign trade, by the accumulation of commodity and currency reserves, and by the development of a system of short-term, medium-term, and long-term credit through IBEC and IEB.


Mazanov, G. G. Mezhdunarodnye raschety stran-chlenov SEV. Moscow, 1970. Chapter 3.
Mezhdunarodnaia sotsialisticheskaia valiula stran-chlenov [Collection of Articles.] Moscow, 1972.
Al’tshuler, A. B. Sotrudnichestvo sotsialisticheskikh gosudarstv: Raschety, kredity, pravo. Moscow, 1973. Chapter 5.
Larionov, K. A. Dva mira—dve valiutnye sistemy. Moscow, 1973.
Rotleider, A. Ia. Mezhdunarodnye kreditnye organizatsii stran-chlenov SEV. Moscow, 1973. Chapter 2.
Drabowski, E. Rubel transferowy miedzynarodowa waluta krajów RWPG. Warsaw, 1974.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
The rest was in two dead currencies: 10.3 billion Soviet rubles and 10.3 billion so-called transfer rubles, a payment vehicle used by the Communist bloc before it fell apart in the late 1980s.