The US and EU have announced new measures aimed at the Russian economy and the prosperous as a report points out that Vladimir Putin’s allies tried to circumvent sanctions by using cryptocurrencies in foreign countries.
In a statement on Friday, the White House said leaders in the United States, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the European Union would take further steps to isolate Russia financially in response to President Vladimir Putin’s military intervention. Russia. Ukraine. The announcement includes a ban on the import of many Russian goods, a ban on the export of luxury goods to Russia, and a directive to the US Treasury Department to monitor the country’s attempts to evade existing sanctions.
“Extended action by the Treasury against Russia requires that all U.S. individuals comply with the sanctions rules, regardless of whether the transaction is denominated in fiat or virtual currency,” the White House said. “The Tasury Department closely monitors any attempt to circumvent or violate Russia-related sanctions, including through the use of virtual currency, and is committed to using broad law enforcement agencies to combat abuse and enforce compliance.”
US policy is part of a coordinated effort with the EU and G7 countries to “collectively increase pressure on Putin” and impose further economic restrictions on Russia. On Wednesday, the European Commission said that its member states had agreed to change the rules to “better ensure that Russian sanctions, including through Belarus, can not be circumvented”, specifically with reference to the potential use of cryptocurrencies.
EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said officials would take action against Russia from Saturday. While many EU members have not said they will impose restrictions on oil and gas produced in Russia, similar to those announced by US President Joe Biden earlier this week, von der Leyen said there would be a “significant ban” on investment . Europe through the Russian energy sector.
Regulators and government departments in many countries that use such economic measures against Russia have also warned individuals and companies involved in cryptocurrencies about potential enforcement measures. On Friday, Bloomberg reported that the US Department of Justice will form a new working group to freeze or confiscate cryptocurrency assets of wealthy Russian individuals, as well as investigate the actions of the banks and cryptocurrency companies that help these organizations under money laundering sanctions. . In the United Kingdom, the Financial Conduct Authority and the Financial Sanctions Enforcement Authority issued a joint statement urging crypto companies to “play their part in enforcing sanctions.”
“Regulations on financial sanctions do not differentiate between cryptocurrencies and other forms of assets,” said the British regulator. “Using cryptocurrencies to circumvent financial sanctions is a criminal offense.”
On the subject: Cryptocurrency does not give Russia a way out of Western sanctions
Economic action against Russia was rapid and affected many industries. Private companies from the fast food chain McDonald’s, large Goldman Sachs and credit card companies including Visa and MasterCard have broken ties with the country in the last seven days.
While some US officials say Russian individuals and companies will struggle to use cryptocurrencies to avoid such sudden and massive sanctions, a Reuters report on Friday indicated they could look to the United Arab Emirates for solutions. The news agency reported that crypto companies in the country have received a number of requests to use cryptocurrencies to buy real estate or liquidate large amounts of digital assets.
“We saw many Russians and even Belarusians come to Dubai and bring what they could, even in crypto,” said a named real estate agent whose firm has partnered with the crypto company.
Some cryptocurrency exchanges have rejected Ukrainian requests to block all addresses from Russian users. However, US-based Coinbase and Kraken have said they will freeze the assets of individuals mentioned in the sanctions. Cryptocurrency exchange Binance said that users with sanctioned Russian bank accounts will not be able to use them, and the platform can not accept payments from Mastercard and Visa cards issued in Russia.