Pavel Zavarny, chairman of the Russian Federal Assembly’s energy committee, said on March 24 that Russia is considering accepting Bitcoin for its oil and gas exports as sanctions from western allies rises.
According to several media reports, Russia may accept cryptocurrencies from “friendly countries” which have not participated in the sanctions, including China and Turkey. The lawmaker noted that Western countries would be required to pay for energy exports either via Rubles or Gold.
In a videotaped news conference held Thursday, Zavarny noted:
“We have been proposing to China for a long time to switch to settlements in national currencies of rubles and yuan. With Turkey, it will be lira and rubles. The set of currencies can be different, and this is normal practice. If there are Bitcoins, we will trade Bitcoins.”
With the latest statement, Zavarny has backed the recent statements made by Russian President Vladimir Putin, who also demanded that “unfriendly countries” should pay in Rubles or gold for oil and gas exports from the country.
Several countries have placed economic sanctions against Russia in the wake of its invasion of Ukraine, which has affected the country for the worst. The Russian Ruble has lost more than half of its value against the US Dollar and the country’s cost of living has soared by more than 14% in the past few days,
Countries, including the United States, the EU countries, Japan, South Korea, and Switzerland, have taken several measures to cut off Russian banks from the rest of the global economy. Several Russian banks are barred from using SWIFT, a global financial system that facilitates smooth and rapid money transfers across nations.
The exclusion from the global financial system resulted in many speculating that Russia may use cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin, to evade sanctions. In the meantime, there is hardly any proof that Russia is leveraging the new forms of currencies to counter such measures.