Head of the State Duma Committee on Energy Pavel Zavalny said in a press conference on March 24th, 2022 that the country is open to accepting Bitcoin in exchange for oil and gas. He goes on to explain that because of sanctions imposed by the E.U. and U.S., Russia is moving away from accepting currencies like euros and dollars.
After nearly a month since the U.S. imposed sanctions on Russia, Putin and other Russian policymakers are taking steps to becoming less isolated from the global economy. In the press conference, Zavalny went on to explain that Russia would be more open to accept the currencies of “friendlier” countries, such as; China’s RMB, Turkey’s lira, and Serbia’s dinar. “If it’s in bitcoin, then we’ll trade in bitcoin,” he adds.
This follows a statement that President Putin made the day before about how “unfriendly” countries like the U.S. and others in the E.U. would be required to pay for oil and gas with rubles. With mounting pressure from the U.S. to avoid doing trade with Russia, the E.U. is still quite heavily dependent on Russia’s oil and natural gas. It is estimated that around 38% of the E.U.’s imported natural gas comes from Russia.
Gold was also mentioned as a possible method for transacting with other countries. Without a specified medium of exchange and if trade is not possible with rubles, it is likely that Russia will accept forms of payment that are most convenient. Bitcoin is a viable option up to a certain point. With a market capitalization of around $830 billion, it is unlikely that large exports will be purchased with Bitcoin at this time.
As the situation develops, Russia and other countries will continue to look at all possible methods to carry on trade between one another.