The Russian government is aiming to launch a payment system that allows for unrestricted use of digital currencies in cross-border payments, according to the country’s Finance Minister Anton Siluanov. The system would be “bound by no restrictions” and no other country would be able to freeze such payments, he explained.
This move is part of the country’s bid to reduce its reliance on the U.S. dollar due to economic sanctions, with the Bank of Russia exploring the creation of a digital currency, the digital ruble. A report by the U.S. Congressional Research Service published in July 2021 noted that the launch of a digital ruble would further reduce Russia’s reliance on Western and dollar-centered payments infrastructure.
Finance Minister Siluanov also revealed that the Russian ruble and the Chinese yuan are already replacing the U.S. dollar in mutual settlements between Russia and China. He stated that more than 70% of the trade between the two countries is now done in their national currencies.
The unrestricted payment system is expected to be a major step towards the country’s de-dollarization efforts, allowing for a more reliable and secure way of making international payments without fear of any funds being frozen.