Russia’s Congressional finance committee chairman, Anatoly Aksakov, said the country is moving to greenlight international trade in cryptocurrency within the next month, according to a report by national news agency TASS.
“In January, we want to legalize cryptocurrencies to ensure foreign trade activities,” Aksakov said, per a translated version of the report.
The chairman highlighted that although Russia is taking steps to allow bitcoin and cryptocurrency payments for imports, there are no plans to encourage similar usage of the burgeoning assets within the boundaries of the nation’s territory.
“The circulation of cryptocurrencies as a means of payment on the territory of Russia will be prohibited, and liability will be prescribed in this regard,” he reportedly stated.
“But to pay for foreign trade transactions, we still assume the possibility of using cryptocurrencies, for example, for parallel imports.”
Russian officials have teased at this possibility for almost a year, following an intense package of Western sanctions deployed in the wake of the nation’s invasion of Ukraine.
“There can be a variety of currencies, and that’s a standard practice. If they want bitcoin, we will trade in bitcoin,” the chairman of the country’s Congressional energy committee, Pavel Zavalny, said in a press conference at the time.
The Bank of Russia, which was hardest government body to be convinced given its previous calls for a complete ban on bitcoin and cryptocurrency, first nodded to the possibility of allowing bitcoin payments for international settlement in June. In September, Russia’s central bank agreed with the Ministry of Finance that it would be “impossible to do without cross-border settlements in cryptocurrency.”