A leading politician thinks insufficient Russian crypto regulation is “undermining the government’s efforts to counter” Western economic sanctions.

The media outlet RBC quoted Andrei Lugovoy, the First Deputy Chairman of the State Duma’s Committee on Security and Anti-Corruption, as calling Russian crypto policy “bad to disgusting.”

Russian Crypto Policy Is ‘Lacking,’ Lawmaker Fumes

Lugovoy was speaking at a crypto-related forum organized by the same media outlet. RBC claimed speakers made “several striking statements and assessments of the current legal state of the mining and digital assets industry in Russia.”

Arguably no “assessments” were more “striking” than Lugovoy’s. The latter berated Moscow’s inaction on the crypto regulation front. The lawmaker said:

“The lack of regulation in the cryptocurrency sector in Russia plays into the hands of [the West’s] sanctions policy against our country. It is undermining the anti-sanctions policies of the Russian government.”

Lugovoy criticized the various government working groups charged with crafting crypto regulation.

Some of these groups include high-ranking politicians, ministry officials, and Central Bank decision-makers.

Andrei Lugovoy, the First Deputy Chairman of the State Duma’s Committee on Security and Anti-Corruption (second from left), speaking earlier this year. (Source: LDPR/YouTube)

Russian Impasse: Regulation Still a Way Off?

Moscow created the groups in a bid to break the long-standing impasse between the ministries of finance, trade, and energy and the crypto-skeptic Central Bank.

The ministries all favor the “legalization” of the Russian crypto sector, with provisions for crypto miners, regulated exchanges, and anti-money laundering protocols.

These ministries think that legalizing industrial crypto mining will provide a taxable boost for state coffers.

They also hope that legalization will help boost the tech and financial sectors. Many big Russian firms are now launching “digital asset” and “NFT” trading platforms.

However, the bank remains firmly opposed to crypto in almost all forms. It instead wants lawmakers to focus on its fast-tracked digital ruble project.

Lugovoy derided this impasse, and claimed that working groups had now “held billions of meetings.”

Despite these meetings, the lawmaker said, politicians have made “no progress in introducing the necessary legislation.”

Yandex reaches an agreement to sell its Russian business, including the nation’s most popular search engine, to a group led by management in a deal valued at about $5.2 billion https://t.co/stRUKOAwhp

— Bloomberg (@business) February 5, 2024

The lawmaker concluded that Russian “businesses have been facing problems making settlements with foreign partners for several years.”

“Cryptocurrency,” Lugovoy said, can provide Russian firms with “a way to facilitate these mutual settlements.”


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