Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin has praised digital assets as a payment instrument that could strengthen Russia’s financial independence. Top government officials also called for an increase in the use of ruble to settle international disputes.
Head of Russian Government Sees Digital Assets as Tool Ensuring ‘Uninterrupted Payments’
According to the Prime Minister of Russia, digital assets are an option to traditional settlements that can facilitate payment for imports or exports. Quoted by RBC Crypto news outlet, Mikhail Mishustin made the comment during a “strategic session on the development of the domestic financial system.”
The statement was broadcast online by the Moscow head of executive power. He stated that Russia must intensify its innovation efforts, and include the creation of digital assets. He elaborated:
This option is secure for all involved and can guarantee continuous payments for imports or exports.
Russia has been mulling over ways to reduce its dependence on the U.S. dollar for quite some time as part of a policy objective referred to as “dedollarization.” Digital financial assets, a broad term in current Russian law that officials have used to describe cryptocurrencies, have been considered as an option even before the latest sanctions imposed over the war in Ukraine.
A draft law “On Digital Currency” prepared by the Ministry of Finance is expected to more comprehensively regulate cryptocurrencies like bitcoin. “Of course, it will be necessary to integrate the mechanism for the circulation of digital currencies into the country’s financial system,” Mishustin said in late March, discussing the bill.
Reports later suggested that Moscow could use digital currency to settle with foreign partners. This would allow it to avoid Western restrictions. In June, the Governor of the Central Bank of Russia Elvira Nabiullina admitted that cryptocurrencies could be used in international payments if they “do not penetrate” the Russian financial system.
In his latest address devoted to the key tasks for the Russian government in strengthening the country’s financial independence, Mikhail Mishustin spoke about the need to gradually phase out the use of the national currencies of “unfriendly countries.” The prime minister emphasized on the importance of increasing the share of the Russia ruble in international payments.
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