According to central bank governor Elvira Nabiullina. The Russian Central Bank is considering utilizing central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) in foreign trade transactions. This strategic exploration of CBDCs comes as financial technology converges with geopolitics globally.
Nabiullina stated Russia is open to CBDC and cryptocurrency integration in cross-border payments. She highlighted the digital ruble was designed to connect with other countries’ CBDCs, showcasing a forward-thinking approach.
“As for cryptocurrencies, our position is well-known: we are against their use in payments within the country. At the same time, we support their use in foreign trade, but the draft law that makes this possible is still being discussed in the State Duma” She stated
Despite domestic opposition, Nabiullina acknowledged potential cryptocurrency benefits for international trade. The State Duma is drafting a bill to regulate and enable such foreign trade usage, emphasizing Russia’s interest in alternative payment avenues.
This CBDC focus aligns with previous government signals towards incorporating cryptocurrencies into foreign trade. However, it has also raised concerns that entities could exploit cryptocurrencies to bypass sanctions. In response, some Western leaders have called for comprehensive crypto blockades on Russian users.
Nabiullina recognized current US sanctions have complicated cross-border settlements. Yet she emphasized they should catalyze Russia and its allies to intensify alternative payment method development.