Russian PM takes cue from Iran’s crypto payment permit for imports

Russia could soon be taking a cue from Iran by using cryptocurrencies for imports, according to comments from the Russian prime Minister.

The adoption of digital assets is necessary as a “safe alternative” for cross-border payments, Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin declared at a strategic session on the development of the domestic financial system on Tuesday.

The prime minister added that digital assets provide a good opportunity to ensure uninterrupted payments for imports and exports. Mishustin also pointed out the importance of ensuring tech infrastructure independence and cybersecurity of financial institutions, stating:

“We need to intensively develop innovative areas, including the adoption of digital assets. This is a safe alternative for all parties that can guarantee uninterrupted payment for the supply of goods from abroad and for export.”

Mishustin’s remarks came shortly after Iran’s Industry of Mines and Trade Ministry approved the use of cryptocurrencies for imports. Local media reported on Monday that the authority moved into crypto payments due to the ongoing international trade sanctions against Iran.

Russian authorities have previously considered crypto for international payments. In May, Ivan Chebeskov, head of the Financial Policy Division within Russia’s Finance Ministry, said that the authority was considering the possibility of incorporating crypto payments. “The idea of using digital currencies in transactions for international settlements is being actively discussed,” he said at the time.

Related: 72% of Russians say they have never bought Bitcoin: Survey

The idea of international payments in crypto even received support from Russia’s biggest governmental crypto skeptic, the Bank of Russia. In June, Bank of Russia governor Elvira Nabiullina stated that cryptocurrencies can be used in cross-border or international payments but only if they don’t get into Russia’s domestic financial system.

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