Russia State Duma deputy and Energy Committee chairman Pavel Zavalny proposed Bitcoin and national currencies as payment options for energy exports to “friendly countries,” such as Turkey and China, at a press conference on Thursday.

See related article: EU says crypto included in sanctions against Russia and Belarus

Fast facts

  • Zavalny proposed gold and Russia’s currency the ruble as payment options for its energy sources, following up on President Vladimir Putin’s recent demand for “unfriendly countries” to use rubles for such transactions, which the EU has rejected.
  • Late last year, Putin said he believed cryptocurrencies had value but was not convinced they could replace the U.S. dollar for trading oil.
  • The price of oil has surged since Russia invaded Ukraine, as crude oil per barrel rose by more than 18% over the month, while natural gas jumped 22.5% as of press time.
  • Throughout the war, Ukraine has legalized the cryptocurrency sector and received aid in digital assets, while some industry watchers fear Russia will leverage cryptocurrencies to bypass financial and economic sanctions.
  • Russia’s central bank had called for a ban on cryptocurrencies before the invasion of Ukraine but has since granted the country’s largest bank, Sberbank, a license to trade digital assets.
  • Russia remains a major energy supplier to Europe, with some EU member states such as Germany opposing a ban on Russian oil. 

See related article: Russia retreats from crypto ban as it pushes rules for industry