Moscow officials have indicated that Russian companies may begin trading in cryptocurrency with partners abroad as early as next year and will be free to choose the coin they wish to use. The sanctioned country is preparing to legalize foreign trade agreements with digital assets and this could happen in the coming months.
Russian government set to greenlight international transactions in cryptocurrency
Russia can authorize cross-border crypto settlements with the law “On Digital Currency” which was introduced by the Ministry of Finance in February this year and has been backed by the government. Russian lawmakers are expected to review it during the fall session of the State Duma, the lower house of parliament.
Ivan Chebeskov, director of the ministry’s Department of Financial Stability, is quoted as saying that the draft contains provisions on international transactions with digital assets. It recognizes cryptocurrency as an asset that can be used in barter deals. At the same time, the official did not rule out the adoption of a dedicated law specifically regulating cross-border crypto payments.
“We have several legislative initiatives that we are working on, which have not yet been formally presented to the government. Therefore, there may be different options for how it can be implemented, ”Chebskov told the daily Izvestia, commenting that the initiative could come from deputies. It is quite realistic to expect to see international crypto transactions in 2023, he added.
One of the MPs involved in these efforts, Anatoly Aksakov, head of the Parliamentary Financial Markets Committee, admitted in conversation with the newspaper that he was ready to sponsor legislative acts regulating the matter. He further elaborated that Russian businesses will be able to choose which cryptocurrency they want to trade in – Bitcoin, Ethereum or any other.
However, he insisted that Russia should create its own crypto infrastructure, emphasizing that participants should only enter the crypto market through it and under strict regulatory controls. Aksakov acknowledged that the country does not currently have this infrastructure but said stock exchanges in Moscow and St. Petersburg are ready to provide it. He was also positive that international transactions with crypto could begin next year.
Meanwhile, the Russian Economy Ministry revealed that it is working closely with the Ministry of Finance and the Central Bank of Russia on the issue of using the digital currency in foreign trade. Its representatives assured that the department supports this approach as it has the potential to reduce pressure from sanctions, especially for small and medium-sized enterprises that are facing difficulties in making international payments.
Russia is trying to find a way to prevent the expansion of financial sanctions imposed by Western governments over a military offensive on its neighbor Ukraine. The Ministry of Finance and the central bank have recently agreed that the country cannot do without cross-border settlement in cryptocurrencies. The Monetary Authority, a strong opponent of allowing free circulation of bitcoin and the like, insisted that there was no talk of legalizing crypto as a means of payment within the country.
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