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Russia might accept Bitcoin as Western sanctions intensify

Pavel Zavalny, Chairman of Russia's Duma Committee on vitality, says Russia is prepared to be extra versatile with cost choices concerning "friendly" international locations like China or Turkey.

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Russia is considering accepting Bitcoin for its oil and gas amid stiffening Western sanctions over its invasion of Ukraine on February 24.

This has been suggested by the Chairman of Russia’s Duma Committee on vitality, Pavel Zavalny, during a press conference on Thursday.

Zavalny said Russia is prepared to be extra versatile with cost choices concerning “friendly” international locations like China or Turkey.

The Chairman said, “We have been proposing to China for a long time to switch to settlements in national currencies for rubles and yuan. With Turkey, it will be lira and rubles.”

Zavalny said you could also trade in bitcoin, and the nationwide fiat forex of the purchaser – as effectively as bitcoin – have been thought about as alternative routes.

Read more: Russia’s crypto demand on rise as it faces global sanctions

Bitcoin is up near 4% over the final 24 hours to about $44,000, spiking since Zavalny’s remarks first crossed.

The vitality chairman said, “If they want to buy, let them pay either in hard currency, and this is gold for us, or pay as it is convenient for us, this is the national currency.”

Zavalny’s statement comes a day after President Vladimir Putin’s said that Russia would seek payment in rubles for oil and gas sold to “unfriendly” countries. It remained unclear whether Russia has the power to change existing contracts agreed upon in euros unilaterally.

“Russia will continue, of course, to supply natural gas in accordance with volumes and prices fixed in previously concluded contracts,” Putin told the government ministers.

“The changes will only affect the currency of payment, which will be changed to Russian rubles,” he said.

European nations and the US have imposed heavy sanctions on Russia since Moscow sent troops into Ukraine. But the European Union is split on whether to sanction Russia’s energy sector, given its heavy dependence on Russian gas.

Russian gas accounts for some 40% of Europe’s total consumption. This year, EU gas imports from Russia have fluctuated between 200 million to 800 million euros ($880 million) a day.

Putin said the government and central bank had one week to develop a solution on moving operations into the Russian currency and that Gazprom would be ordered to make the corresponding changes to contracts.

Read more: Ukraine receives $16.7M in crypto donations!

A White House official told Reuters that the US is consulting with allies on the issue, and each country will make its own decision.