The Bank of Russia and the country’s Ministry of Finance have reportedly reached an agreement to allow cross-border settlements in cryptocurrencies.
According to a Thursday report from the Russian publication Kommersant, Russian Deputy Finance Minister Alexei Moiseev said the government department has “generally” agreed with the central bank on a rule that would allow residents to send cross-border payments using cryptocurrencies.. The proposed policy change was reportedly aimed at allowing Russian citizens access to digital wallets.
“[La política] generally describes how to acquire cryptocurrencies, what can be done with them, and how you can or cannot settle with them in cross-border settlements in the first place,” Moiseev said, according to the report.
Russian news agencies had reported that the central bank had been discussing the issue of cross-border cryptocurrency payments with government officials. Nevertheless, the Bank of Russia was opposed to allowing cryptocurrency exchanges to operate legally and not accepting cryptocurrencies as legal tender.
On September 5, Moiseev said:
“Now that people are opening crypto wallets outside the Russian Federation, it is necessary to do so in Russia with entities supervised by the central bank, which are required to comply with Anti-Money Laundering and Know Your Customer requirements.”
Russia has had a mixed relationship with cryptocurrencies. In 2020, the country passed a law that prohibited the use of cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin (BTC), to make payments. President Vladimir Putin also signed a bill in July that bans digital financial assets as payments.. In May, Trade Minister Denis Manturov suggested that Russia would legalize crypto payments “sooner or later.”
Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February, the country’s government, businesses and some individuals have been subject to extensive economic sanctions. On September 15, the US Treasury Department added 22 individuals and two entities based in Russia to its sanctions list, alleging that they had furthered government objectives in Ukraine.
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