Russian PM Considers Digital Assets ‘Safe Alternative’ For Foreign Trade

Mikhail Mishustin, the Prime Minister of Russia, was full of praise for digital assets as a payment method, as he said that they could help the country in achieving financial independence.

However, the leading government official also encouraged the use of the Russian ruble for making international settlements.

Foreign trade

During a session that was organized for discussing the development of the domestic financial system of Russia, the Russian premier Mikhail Mishustin also talked about the use of digital assets.

He said that these could be used for facilitating import and export payments as an alternative to traditional payment options.

His statement was also shared via online streaming in which he said that Russia needs to focus on development areas of innovation, which include the use of digital assets.

The head of Moscow’s executive power said that digital assets could be used by all parties safely and they can ensure uninterrupted payments for exports as well as imports.

Dollar dependence

It should be noted that the Russian Federation has been trying to achieve a policy objective that has been called ‘dedollarization’, which involves reducing the dependence of the country on the US dollar.

According to the current laws in Russia, cryptocurrencies are referred to as digital financial assets, and they were being explored as an option, even before the country was sanctioned over its invasion of Ukraine.

The Ministry of Finance is preparing a draft law called ‘On Digital Currency’, which is aimed at comprehensive regulation of cryptocurrencies, such as bitcoin, in the country.

In late March, Mishustin had discussed the crypto bill and said that they would also come up with a mechanism that could be used for integrating digital currencies into the financial system.

Reports, later on, had also indicated that there was a possibility that Moscow could begin to use digital coins to make international payments in light of the sanctions imposed on it by Western nations.

Elvira Nabiullina, the Central Bank of Russia (CBR)’s governor, admitted in June that as long as cryptocurrencies don’t enter the country’s financial system, they could be used for international settlements.

In his latest speech, the Russian prime minister talked about gradually shifting away from the use of the national currencies of those that are classified as ‘unfriendly’.

This would be helpful for the Russian government in achieving its objective of financial independence. He emphasized that the use of Russian rubles for making international payments should be increased.

Crypto stance

It should be noted that the Russian central bank has been opposed to cryptocurrencies since the country began talking about introducing legislation for digital currencies.

As a matter of fact, it had gone as far as proposing a blanket ban on the entire sector, including all activities related to it.

However, it has shifted its stance somewhat since Russia was subjected to Western sanctions because of its conflict with Ukraine.

Nonetheless, the bank is still not in favor of incorporating cryptocurrencies into the financial system of the country.