The use of cryptography in cross-border payments is one of the proposals put forward by the Russian Chamber of Commerce which is pushing for more cooperation with African countries. Amid unprecedented sanctions limiting Russia’s ability to trade internationally, the board chief urged the government to work out an alternative settlement system with Moscow’s partners.
Chamber of Commerce proposes to improve Russia’s trade with African nations
In a letter sent to Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin, the President of the Russian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Sergey Katyrin, presented a series of proposals aimed at strengthening economic relations with African nations. Among other ideas, the leader of Russia Chamber of Commerce advocates alternative payment options. Quoted by Tass, Katyrin insists:
It seems appropriate to instruct the Ministry of Finance, in collaboration with the central bank, to ensure the conclusion of intergovernmental agreements with African states on the use of national currencies and cryptocurrencies in mutual settlements and payments.
The official calls on the federal government to establish a new export-import bank and trust fund to support the export activities of small and medium-sized enterprises to Africa. He also wants the Ministry of Industry and Trade and the Ministry of Economic Development to establish trade missions and free trade zones in African countries with the greatest potential for expanding ties.
Katyrin urges both departments to develop a new settlement mechanism for external and internal payments, including cryptocurrencies. The system can be implemented in concession settlements for natural resources, investment projects, export operations and other payments. He also suggests the creation of a Russia-Africa trading house.
The head of the chamber stresses that the development of this kind of cooperation with “friendly zones” is of paramount importance for the Russian Federation. His proposals come as growing Western sections imposed over the war in Ukraine continue to limit Moscow’s access to global finance and its currency reserves in foreign banks.
The restrictions convince Russian officials that crypto assets can help the country return to global markets and replace the US dollar and euro with other national and digital currencies. While the Bank of Russia is skeptical about the use of cryptocurrencies to circumvent sanctions, the Ministry of Finance is leading efforts to legalize them and says the sanctions are motivating Russia to create its own crypto market infrastructure .
Do you think Russia will use cryptocurrencies in international settlements with trading partners? Share your expectations in the comments section below.
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