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Russian firms could start transacting cryptocurrency with overseas partners as early as next year and will be free to choose which coin they want to use, officials in Moscow said. The sanctioned country is preparing to legalize foreign trade regulations with digital assets and this could happen in the coming months.

Russian government set to give green light to international cryptocurrency transactions

Russia can allow cross-border crypto settlements with the law “On Digital Currency” which was introduced by the Ministry of Finance in February this year and was supported by the government. Russian lawmakers are expected to consider it during the fall session of the State Duma, the lower house of parliament.

Ivan Chebeskov, director of the ministry’s Financial Stability Department, reportedly said the draft includes a provision on international transactions with digital assets. It recognizes cryptocurrency as a property that can be used in barter transactions. At the same time, the official did not rule out the adoption of a dedicated law specifically regulating cross-border crypto payments.

“We have a number of legislative initiatives that we are working on, which have not yet been officially submitted to the government. Therefore, there may be different options on how this can be implemented,” Chebeskov told Izvestia daily, noting that the initiative could come from MPs. He added that it is quite realistic to expect to see international crypto transactions in 2023.

One of the lawmakers involved in these efforts, the head of the parliamentary committee on financial markets Anatoly Aksakov, admitted in a conversation with the newspaper that he was ready to sponsor legislative acts regulating the matter. He further clarified that Russian companies will be able to choose the cryptocurrency they wish to trade in – bitcoin, ethereum or any other.

However, he insisted that Russia must create its own crypto infrastructure, stressing that participants should only enter the crypto market through it and under strict regulatory control. Aksakov admitted that the country does not currently have this infrastructure but said that the Moscow and St. Petersburg exchanges are ready to provide it. He was also confident that international transactions with crypto could begin next year.

Meanwhile, the Russian Ministry of Economy revealed that it is working with the Ministry of Finance and the Central Bank of Russia on the issue of using digital currency in foreign trade. Its representatives assured that the department supports this approach as it has the potential to reduce sanctions pressure, especially for small and medium-sized businesses that face difficulties in making international payments.

Russia has been trying to find a way around the growing financial restrictions imposed by Western governments during its military invasion of neighboring Ukraine. The Ministry of Finance and the central bank have recently agreed that the country cannot do without cross-border settlements in cryptocurrency. The monetary authority, a staunch opponent of allowing free circulation of bitcoin and the like, stressed that there was no talk of legalizing crypto as a form of payment within the country.

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Do you think Russia will legalize international crypto payments by the end of the year? Tell us in the comments section below.

Lubomir Tassev

Lubomir Tassev is a tech-savvy Eastern European journalist who loves Hitchens’ quote: “Being a writer is who I am, rather than what I do.” Besides crypto, blockchain and fintech, international politics and economics are two other sources of inspiration.

Image credits: Shutterstock, Pixabay, Wiki Commons

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