The Russian prime minister said that Russia might soon follow Iran’s lead and pay for imports with cryptocurrencies.
Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin said on Tuesday that digital assets need to be used as a “safe alternative” for cross-border payments. He said this at a strategic meeting on the development of the country’s financial system.
The prime minister also said that digital assets are a good way to make sure that payments for imports and exports keep going smoothly. Mishustin also said that it was important to make sure that tech infrastructure was independent and that financial institutions were safe from cyberattacks:
“We need to intensively develop innovative areas, including the adoption of digital assets. This is a safe alternative for all parties that can guarantee uninterrupted payment for the supply of goods from abroad and for export.”
Mishustin’s comments came soon after Iran’s Ministry of Industry, Mines, and Trade said that cryptocurrencies could be used to pay for imports. Local news outlets said on Monday that the government is now using crypto payments because of the international trade sanctions that are still in place against Iran.
The Russian government has thought about using crypto for international payments in the past. Ivan Chebeskov, who is in charge of the Financial Policy Division at Russia’s Finance Ministry, said in May that the government was thinking about adding crypto payments. At the time, he said, “The idea of using digital currencies in international transactions is being actively discussed.”
Even the Bank of Russia, which is the most sceptical government agency in Russia about crypto, liked the idea of making international payments in crypto. In June, Elvira Nabiullina, who is in charge of the Bank of Russia, said that cryptocurrencies can be used for international or cross-border payments, but only if they don’t get into Russia’s financial system.