The Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has underlined Moscow’s intention to do away with the USD – and has suggested that crypto could play a part in ousting the greenback in trade deals.
Lavrov’s comments could give real hope to those hoping crypto will find use-cases in international settlement deals.
According to the news agency Tass, Lavrov stated:
“I think the time will inevitably come when cryptocurrencies will play a very significant role [in trade and finance], and occupy a very significant segment of the international settlements sector.”
Lavrov did not specify whether he was referring to cryptoassets like bitcoin (BTC), big business-backed stablecoins or central bank digital currencies (CBDCs). On occasion, government officials have called CBDCs “cryptocurrencies.”
Speaking at a meeting of think tanks in Moscow, Lavrov claimed that Moscow was not seeking to completely eliminate the use of the USD in trade deals, but spoke repeatedly about a de-dollarization policy that appears to have already been put into action.
“We really want to engage in the de-dollarization of the Russian economy and financial system. The other day, we decided that our gold and foreign exchange reserves will no longer be stored in dollars. The corresponding actions have already been taken. But I would like to stress, once again, that this does not mean that we are ruling out the use of the dollar in general.”
The Foreign Minister added that Russia was now seeking to use national currencies other than the USD in bilateral settlements with other countries, concluding:
“We are striving to rely more and more on other currencies [besides the USD]. On national currencies when it comes to bilateral trade with our partners – with China, other Shanghai Cooperation Organization member states and a number of other countries,” he said.
Lavrov and high-ranking government finance chiefs have spoken about Moscow-Beijing de-dollarization plans before this year – while the CEO of the weapon-maker Kalashnikov and an influential business leader have this week both called for the government to embrace crypto-powered trade and settlements.