Russia is planning to launch a pilot project on Islamic banking. The project will be carried out in Tatarstan. Its key objectives were formulated during a recent meeting of the Russian President’s working group on Eurasian integration at the Moscow State Institute for International Relations.
The Russian President’s Eurasian integration adviser Sergey Glazyev said that in some states of the Customs Union and the Common Economic Space Islamic banking is already developing. So, the group will consider this subject and will submit its findings on it to the President’s Economic Council as a possible way-out from the current banking crisis. Glazyev confirmed that one of possible directions may be a pilot Islamic banking project in Tatarstan.
The key topics of the meeting, attended by bankers and Islamic finance experts from Russia, Malaysia and Singapore, were the future of Islamic and Orthodox bankings in Russia and investment projects in EurAsEC.
Tatarstan has long been trying to introduce Islamic banking in its territory but has not been very successful yet. The key advocate of this activity is the republic’s Prime Minister for Cooperation with Islamic Financial Institutions Linar Yakupov, whose name was recently mentioned in connection with a number of corruption-related scandals. Yakupov said during the meeting that the Islamic finance infrastructure in Tatarstan comprises the Islamic Business and Finance Development Fund, Tatarstan International Investment Company, Eurasian Leasing Company, Ak Bars Bank, Amal Finance House, Allianz Life Insurance Company and some other organizations.
The educational platform in this field is represented by the Russian Center for Islamic Economics and Finance. All these structures employ over 60 Islamic finance experts.