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Bitcoin may be a new alternative for Russia as it seeks to circumvent economic sanctions put forward by Europe and the United States. The country led by Vladimir Putin intends to accept cryptoassets payments in natural gas negotiations.

The news was announced on Thursday (24) by the country’s energy committee chairman in Congress, Pavel Zavalny, during a press conference. According to the statement, the measure should apply to countries classified as “hostile” by Russia.

Pavel Zavalny spoke about the alternatives Russia is analyzing to maintain economic relations in foreign trade. The country faces economic sanctions that prevent trading in dollars and gold, therefore bitcoin could be an alternative for the country.

Besides bitcoin, Russia is considering to accept other currencies in its natural gas exports. Recently, the country announced that it might require the Russian ruble to fuel negotiations with other nations.

Considered one of the largest natural gas suppliers to Europe, Russia is accused of invading Ukraine and provoking a month-long war. Countries that have introduced economic sanctions against Russia in recent weeks have been declared ‘hostile’.

Even before the conflict in Ukraine began, the country faced a de-dollarization of its economy. With nations considered ‘friendly’ by Vladimir Putin, such as China and Turkey, Russia has adopted payments for natural gas in the Russian ruble, yuan, and Turkish lira.

Now, bitcoin may be the next currency integrated into Russian foreign trade. Before that, in late 2021, Vladimir Putin had stated that the country had no interest in accepting cryptoasset payments, although he recognized the potential of digital currency.