Russia’s Finance Minister is working to loosen the purse strings in favour of crypto, in fact he plans to allow the use of digital assets in international transactions in any sector without restrictions.
The Minister is aware of the growing importance of cryptos in relations with transcontinental countries now that the sanctions applied after the invasion against Ukraine has severely restricted the freedom to pay abroad.
The Russian news agency TASS unveiled the latest developments on Monday in an official statement. The report refers to Ivan Chebeskov, Director of the Department of Financial Policies on behalf of the Ministry, who revealed the measure in a recent interview.
“We will allow future international agreements to be agreed in cryptocurrency for any productive sector,” Chebeskov explained. He emphasized that the Ministry of Finance is aware of the importance of cryptocurrencies in shaping local and international agreements in Russia.
According to Chebeskov, the Ministry of Finance has a more open view on crypto than the Russian Central Bank.
He pointed out the differences in the agencies’ views towards digital assets and in particular towards the Ministry’s position, which would aim for a more permissive regulatory framework towards cryptocurrencies. The aim would be to make the circulation of cryptos in Russia less restrictive.
Chebeskov added that the Minister believes Russia should develop its own local infrastructure for cryptocurrencies. He pointed out that this could simplify the adoption of consumer protection measures. Moreover, an appropriate regulatory framework would allow for greater control over the cryptocurrency sector to prevent its illicit use.
Russia wants to do away with the SWIFT system with the digital rouble
Despite sanctions by Western countries in response to the invasion of Ukraine, the rate of crypto adoption by the Russian government has been extremely slow. Although the Central Bank seems to be adopting a gradually more tolerant outlook toward digital assets, it does not look forward to unrestricted adoption.
The Russian Ministry of Finance, on the other hand, is pushing for a looser regulatory framework. Despite its reticent attitude, however, the Central Bank has continued to work on the project of a Russian CBDC.
The Bank of Russia plans to continue with the current tests on the use of its digital rouble protocol in 2023. This goal was revealed in a document prepared last August. In addition, the Central Bank will connect all other Russian commercial banks to the digital rouble in 2024.
Russia aims to free itself from its dependence on the international payments system SWIFT, from which it was recently banned by sanctions. The digital rouble will make it possible to simplify the country’s international agreements independently of the Western-controlled payments system.
On the other hand, last month, the European Union revealed plans to restrict crypto payments from Russia to European crypto wallets.