Russia and North Korea are ready to switch to settlements in rubles in their mutual trade, Russia’s Far East Development Minister Alexander Galushka has said.

“Settlements in rubles will begin starting from this month. Such an opportunity will emerge between Russia and the DPRK [Democratic People’s Republic of Korea] – the first accounts have already been opened at Russian banks,” he said after a session of the two countries’ intergovernmental commission on Thursday.

Such a move will help considerably bolster and simplify trade and business cooperation between Russia and North Korea, Galushka said.

The North Korean authorities also have agreed to simplify visa requirements for Russian investors and employees of Russian companies working in North Korea.

“The opportunity is emerging for Russian entrepreneurs and employees of Russian companies working in the DPRK [Democratic People’s Republic of Korea] to receive multiple-entry visas using the simplified procedure. Russian investors and employees will also gain access to modern means of communication [on the territory of North Korea] such as the Internet and mobile phone services,” Galushka said.

These problems “have put a heavy burden on our cooperation and have not allowed it to develop,” he said.

“It means we can already say that considerable progress has been made in this crucial segment of our relations. It has become possible thanks to our joint work and the goodwill of the Korean side,” the Russian minister said.