Russia requires the West to pay for oil and gas in rubles – and offers “friendly” countries to pay in other currencies. Among other things in Bitcoin.
As is well known, Russia reacted to the sanctions of the West in a peculiar but obvious way: the “unfriendly” countries have to pay for oil and gas supplies either in gold or in rubles.
“If they want to buy, let them pay either in hard currency, and this is gold for us, or pay as it is convenient for us, this is the national currency,” said Pavel Zavalny, chairman of the Duma Committee on Energy, at a press conference. “Why should we trade for this currency? In fact, then this currency turns into candy wrappers for us. And we must supply real material resources, while not being able to get paid for them,”
Somehow that’s understandable, and somehow it’s now becoming apparent that Europe isn’t ready to buy rubles, which is probably why we’ll soon run out of gas.
But that’s not the point here. Rather, it is about what Zavalny says to the “friendly” countries.
Since the war, Russia has divided the world into friendly and unfriendly nations. The unfriendly nations are those that respond to the war of aggression against Ukraine with sanctions. They are the following countries: Albania, Andorra, Australia, Canada, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Micronesia, Monaco, New Zealand, Norway, South Korea, San Marino, North Macedonia, Singapore, the United States, United Kingdom, Member States of the EU, Taiwan, United Kingdom Ukraine, Montegenro, Switzerland and Japan. In the future, these countries will have to pay in rubles or gold if they want to buy Russian gas.
And the rest of the world, the “friendly” countries? “To talk about them,” Zavalny said, “we have long been proposing China to switch to national currencies, rubles and yuan. With Turkey, it has been lira and ruble since. The sets of currencies can be different, that’s normal.” And then he added what has since electrified bitcoiners in a strange way: “We can also trade bitcoins.”
Whether and to what extent this is more than a slogan is of course unclear. China has banned bitcoin and is unlikely to want to pay in bitcoin, and most countries, like Turkey, will probably be happy to see their currency revalued as a means of payment for Russian commodities.
What is clear, however, is that Russia is opening up more to Bitcoin than most peace-loving Bitcoiners would like. For example, Russia has been pushing for cryptocurrency legalization for some time , and even Vladimir Putin has been open about cryptocurrencies being “maybe the future .” In the tug-of-war over regulation, the rather open Ministry of Economic Affairs prevailed against the central bank, which would rather see Bitcoin banned yesterday than today. Despite the war, the formation of a legal framework is progressing under the leadership of the Ministry of Finance.
Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin said last Friday that the government had thoroughly examined the proposal. He said it was “naturally necessary” to integrate digital currencies into the country’s financial system. However, it is not entirely clear to what extent he actually means free cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin.