MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia plans to use the currency in reciprocal settlements with China as it seeks to curb Washington’s global financial dominance, a senior Russian lawmaker said on Monday, following the launch of the digital ruble early next year.
Russia, like many countries, has been developing digital money over the past two years in order to modernize its financial system, speed up payments and avoid cryptocurrency threats such as gaining the influence of bitcoin.
The central bank is already conducting digital ruble tests with banks at a time when sanctions against Moscow for its actions in Ukraine have curtailed Russia’s access to large parts of the infrastructure of global financial markets.
Anatoly Aksakov, Chairman of the Finance Committee of the Russian Parliament, in an interview with a Russian parliamentary newspaper, said that with this in mind, Russia is looking for alternative means of carrying out transactions.
“The topic of digital financial assets, digital rubles and cryptocurrencies is currently intensifying in society, as Western countries impose sanctions and create problems for bank transfers, including in international settlements,” Aksakov said. He added that the digital trend is key because financial flows can bypass the systems controlled by unfriendly countries.
The central bank and the government have been at odds all year over cryptocurrency regulation. Aksakov said he hoped legislation would emerge this year.
He added that the next step for the digital ruble will be its launch of reciprocal settlements with China, which has already tested the digital yuan.
“If we release this, other countries will begin to actively use it moving forward, and America’s control of the global financial system will effectively end,” Aksakov said.
As Western countries ignore Russia, cooperation with Beijing is becoming increasingly important for Moscow. The two countries boosted trade with each other and Russian companies began issuing debt in yuan.
Some central bank experts have also suggested that new technologies mean that countries will be able to transact directly with each other, making them less dependent on Western-dominated payment channels such as SWIFT, to which many Russian banks have lost access due to sanctions. .