While Russia continues to put pressure on de-dollarization, the Russian Foreign Ministry (MFA) is reportedly considering replacing the US dollar with not only traditional fiat currencies but also digital currencies.
Alexander Pankin, Russia’s deputy foreign minister, highlighted the country’s plans to reduce the share of US dollars in Russia’s international reserves and use them to settle with foreign partners in an interview on Tuesday with the local news agency Interfax.
The official said that the Russian Foreign Ministry does not rule out the possibility of exchanging US dollars for “some digital assets” together with other currencies:
“It is possible to exchange US dollars for other currencies both nationally and regionally, as well as for some long-term digital assets.”
Pankin added that such compensation would require significant efforts from the state, including restoring established models of cooperation between jurisdictions and companies, as well as creating new mechanisms for new settlement systems.
The official noted that Russia’s push for de-dollarization is in line with the country’s efforts to avert the challenges of US government sanctions.
“Payments in US dollars go through US banks and a clearing system that allows Washington to block all transactions they consider suspicious,” Bankin said. He added that the Russian government has not faced similar problems with the euro or other fiat currencies and is not currently planning similar measures for any other national currencies.
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For several years, Russia has considered measures to reduce the share of US dollars in the National Aid Fund by 186 billion dollars. Local authorities plan to significantly increase their RMB holdings and invest in gold.
Recent statements from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirm Russia’s obvious interest in using cryptocurrency for international settlements. Last week, Russian President Vladimir Putin said it was “too early” to use cryptocurrency to enter into oil deals. The president also acknowledged the potential of cryptocurrencies to transfer funds around the world.