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The Venezuelan state-backed cryptocurrency, petro, is being considered by Russia to be used for international transactions, according to the Venezuelan minister of foreign trade, Jose Vielma Mora.

Russian and Venezuelan officials are discussing a number of issues at an intergovernmental meeting which is taking place in Caracas, addressing topics that include bilateral cooperation in the military area, railroad projects in Venezuela, food production, and the petro was also brought into dialog.

The meeting has the objective of consolidating the bonds between the two countries and to help develop strategic alliance between major companies, such as the Petromonagas project between Russian energy company Rosneft and Petroleos de Venezuela S.A. (PDVSA).

Venezuela sees Petro as a chance to strengthen the strategic partnership and the trading relationship between the two countries. According to Mora, the collaboration will also see Venezuela team up with the Russian KAMAZ company which is best known for its truck production.

“[The issues of cooperation] include the purchases of automotive parts and components, of tires and batteries, as well as assembling of these vehicles in our country and the forms of payment, in which we include the payments with the use of Petro,” the minister said, according to the AVN news agency.

The Russian side has also voiced interest in acquisitions of different goods, like steel, aluminum, flowers, coffee, and cacao, that will be imported from Venezuela.

Maduro plans to develop four economic zones in which Petro will be used. Also, the president also said in February that Venezuela was getting ready to launch a new cryptocurrency which will be backed by gold and other precious metals.

Wilmar Castro Soteldo, Venezuela’s Vice President stated that the two countries wish to increase the volumes of bilateral trade with 30% by the end of 2018.

“We have a goal in 2018 — to reach an increase in trade turnover by 30 percent,” said Castro Soteldo on Tuesday during the intergovernmental commission.

In spite of the issuing of Petro, there is a rising demand for Bitcoin in Venezuela. March saw record values for Bitcoin trading in Venezuela, with over 1 trillion Bolivares worth of BTC being exchanged.

Bitfinex, the Hong Kong cryptocurrency exchange, is currently refusing to list ‘El Petro’, citing “limited utility” from the digital currency and that listing the first ever state-backed cryptocurrency “could be construed as an attempt to circumvent legitimate sanctions against the GOV.”

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