Russia has been selling US securities amid new sanctions, but has no plans to start shutting down US companies, according to Russia’s Finance Minister Anton Siluanov.
“We have lowered to the minimum level and will further decrease our investment in the U.S. economy, in the U.S. securities,” Siluanov said before announcing they plan to trade more with rubles or other currencies, rather than dollars.
“Eventually, this will negatively impact U.S. investors. But we are not planning now any limitations such as shutting down McDonalds,” he added.
The minister further called dollars as risky, according to Russia Today. “We have significantly reduced our investment in US assets. In fact, the dollar, which is considered to be the international currency, becomes a risky tool for payments,” he said.
In further developments, Kremlin is now backing Erdogan in trading in local currencies. According to Reuters, the following unfolded:
“The Kremlin said on Monday that Russia favoured bilateral trade with all countries in their national currencies, rather than the dollar, but that the idea needed detailed work before being implemented…
Asked about Erdogan’s proposal, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Russia had been pushing for such an arrangement with all countries. He said the issue had been raised on more than one occasion during bilateral talks between Turkey and Russia.”
Ruble has been falling against the dollars some 30% since April, 8% in the past week, with one dollar now worth nearly 70 RUB, up significantly from around 50 during spring.
Bitcoin and most cryptos are at a premium in Russia, with one BTC worth around $200 more in RUB than USD.
Eth has a slight premium too, with reasonable volumes handled by local crypto exchanges that trade in rubles.
Inflation in Russia is at a reasonable 2.5%, despite the plunge in RUB, but growth is not quite keeping up, currently standing at just 1.8%.
Blockchain tech is enthusiastically being adopted in the country, at least by the government, with cryptos seemingly part of a strategy to bypass sanctions.
Iran, which seems to be at least in consultation with Russia if not advised by them on blockchain/crypto matters, has recently hinted they might mine cryptocurrencies.
Whether Kremlin holds any cryptos as a hedge or otherwise is unknown, but a Turkey-Russia private trade was done in cryptos at the beginning of the year. While Iran and Russia discussed plans to start trading in crypto this May.
Among many further blockchain related developments, plans were announced this spring for Russia’s SWIFT to start running on the blockchain.
All of it so building a strategic picture that might have cryptos and blockchain tech near the center of it as the old west-east game seemingly returns again, at least to some extent.