Russian State Duma Approves Bill for International Trade with Digital Ruble and Assets

Lawmakers in the Russian State Duma have given the green light to a bill that permits Russian firms and their partners to utilize the digital ruble and “digital assets” in international settlements. The bill passed through the Duma’s second and third readings on February 27, according to an official release from the State Duma and a report from media outlet RBC.

The legislation is aimed at facilitating cross-border trades using digital financial assets and classifies the digital ruble and other digitized commodities and securities as “digital financial assets.” Notably, the bill also gives the Central Bank of Russia enhanced regulatory powers over digital asset trading, allowing the bank to establish conditions and restrictions for transactions involving digital assets.

Anatoly Aksakov, Chairman of the State Duma Committee and the bill’s principal architect, emphasized the strategic importance of the legislation, citing heightened interest from Russia’s international partners in using digital assets for trade. Aksakov highlighted the potential benefits of employing digital assets in foreign trade, particularly in light of sanctions imposed on Russia. The bill now awaits approval from the Senate and ultimately, President Vladimir Putin, before becoming law. While clarifications were made regarding the procedure for purchasing digital financial products, legal experts assert that the bill’s scope does not include cryptocurrency, which is distinct under Russian law.