The Russian government and its central bank prefer to use a medium of exchange that can’t be “cancelled” by a foreign government or central bank. From Schiffgold at schiffgold.com:
Russia has quietly made the case for owning gold.
The head of the Russian Parliament, Pavel Zavalny, made comments recently addressing the subject of economic and financial sanctions. It’s clear that gold is playing a large role in protecting Russian wealth. That role may get bigger and it could create a paradigm shift in how the world does business.
Russia has a lot of natural gas and oil. And it sells a lot of natural gas and oil to the world. Zavalny made it clear that Russia is happy to sell — in hard currency. And what is hard currency? Not dollars.
If they want to buy, let them pay either in hard currency, and this is gold for us, or pay as it is convenient for us, this is the national currency. As for friendly countries, China or Turkey, which are not involved in the sanctions pressure. We have been proposing to China for a long time to switch to settlements in national currencies for rubles and yuan. With Turkey, it will be lira and rubles. The set of currencies can be different and this is normal practice. You can also trade bitcoins.”
Zavalny said Russia has no interest in dollars, saying “this currency turns into candy wrappers for us.”