Russia's Finance Ministry has reportedly begun working with the governments of “friendly” nations to establish a cross-border stablecoin-based payments platform.
According to a Tuesday report from Russia state-owned news agency TASS, Deputy Finance Minister Alexey Moiseev said the government was looking to create the settlement platform to avoid the use of U.S. dollars and euros. The finance minister reportedly said the Russian government would need to impose additional regulations to enact the platform between itself and friendly nations — possibly including China, Belarus and North Korea.
“We offer mutually acceptable tokenized instruments that will be used on these platforms, which are essentially clearing platforms that we are currently developing with countries,” said Moiseev. “Stablecoins can be pegged to some generally recognized instrument, for example, gold, the value of which is clear and appreciable for all parties involved.”
Russia has been the target of severe sanctions imposed by the United States and the European Union following the country’s invasion of Ukraine in February. The EU announced in March it planned to remove many Russian banks from the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication, or SWIFT, messaging system, and the U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control added several Russian entities and nationals to its list of Specially Designated Nationals.
Amid the war in Ukraine, reports have suggested Russian officials had been exploring using cryptocurrencies to evade the imposed sanctions. In July, President Vladimir Putin signed a bill banning digital assets as payments into law, but the country’s central bank has reportedly considered using crypto for cross-border payments.