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Russian Chamber of Commerce Suggests Using Cryptocurrencies in Settlements With Africa

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Employing crypto in cross-border payments is one of the proposals put forward by the Russian Chamber Of Commerce lobbying for more cooperation with African countries. Amid unprecedented sanctions limiting Russia’s ability to trade internationally, the head of the board has urged the government to work out an alternative system for settlements with Moscow’s partners.

Chamber of Commerce Proposes Improving Russia’s Trade With African Nations

In a letter sent to Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin, President of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Russia Sergey Katyrin has laid out a set of proposals to boost economic relations with African nations. Among other ideas, the head of the Russian board of trade advocates for alternative payment options. Quoted by Tass, Katyrin insists:

It seems appropriate to instruct the Ministry of Finance, together with the central bank, to ensure the conclusion of intergovernmental agreements with African states on the use of national currencies and cryptocurrencies in mutual settlements and payments.

The official is calling on the federal government to create a new export-import bank and a trust fund tasked to back export activities of small and medium-sized firms to Africa. He also wants the Ministry of Industry and Trade and the Ministry of Economic Development to establish trade missions and free trade zones in the African countries with the greatest potential to expand ties.

Katyrin is urging the two departments to work out a new settlement mechanism for external and internal payments, including cryptocurrencies. The system can be implemented in settlements for concessions for natural resources, investment projects, export operations, and other payments. He also suggests the establishment of a Russia-Africa Trading House.

The head of the chamber emphasizes that the development of this kind of cooperation with “friendly areas” is of paramount importance for the Russian Federation. His proposals come as mounting western sections imposed over the war in Ukraine continue to limit Moscow’s access to global finances and its currency reserves in foreign banks.

The restrictions are convincing Russian officials that crypto assets can help the country to return to global markets and substitute the U.S. dollar and the euro with other national and digital currencies. While the Bank of Russia is skeptical about using cryptocurrencies to circumvent sanctions, the Finance Ministry is leading efforts to legalize them and says that the penalties motivate Russia to create its own crypto market infrastructure. | Lubomir Tassev

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