Russian Finance Ministry Says Venezuela Has ‘Not Offered’ To Pay Its Debts In Petro Coin

Posted by William Suberg on

Venezuela’s increasingly controversial Petro cryptocurrency was not offered to be used for Russian debt repayments, a Russian official says.

A Russian official has refuted claims that Venezuela offered to repay its debts in its newly-launched Petro cryptocurrency, Reuters reports today, March 27.

As Reuters reports, Konstantin Vyshkovsky, head of the Russian finance ministry’s state debt department, told reporters that no cryptocurrency-based debt repayments were on the horizon.

The update came a week after Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro announced that the Russian ruble would be one of the handful of fiat currencies freely convertible with Petro. The others are the Chinese yuan, Turkish lira and the euro. “Starting March 23, all legal and physical entities will be able to purchase the petro directly […] within the next 15 days for convertible currencies,” RT quotes him as announcing at the time.

Petro continues to cause rifts after it was launched in February, with US president Donald Trump outlawing purchases by US citizens earlier this month.

At the same time, an article in Time magazine cited anonymous sources claiming Petro had received Russian support and input since 2017, due to the appeal of bypassing western sanctions.

“People close to Putin, they told him this is how to avoid the sanctions,” a Russian state bank executive told the publication, which published its expose March 20.

Petro was initially tipped to raise $5.9 bln in token sales, with Maduro claiming the state raked in $735 mln in the first day of its presale alone.


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