Russia has been sanctioned further by the United States, other G7 countries, and the European Union. A big aspect of the new sanctions is a crackdown on the alleged use of cryptocurrency as a way of circumventing restrictions.
Several Western nations declared today that they are stepping up attempts to stop virtual assets from being used to bypass sanctions imposed on Russia in the midst of its invasion of Ukraine.
Members of the Group of Seven (G7), including the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Canada, Japan, Italy, and Germany, as well as the European Union, announced various new sanctions aimed at “collectively ramping up pressure on Putin and building on the unprecedented package of economic sanctions and export controls imposed on Russia by the United States and over 30 countries.”
One of the most important new steps revealed today was a redoubling of efforts to reduce cryptocurrency’s potential as a way of evading sanctions.
The several participating governments wrote in an united statement emphasizing their obligation to delivering the sanctions remained effective by minimizing evasion and loopholes.
The statement emphasized the need to “ensure that the Russian state and elites, proxies, and oligarchs cannot use digital assets to evade or offset the impact of international sanctions, further limiting their access to the global financial system.” The organization stated that it will increase efforts to strengthen identification and interdiction of unlawful behavior, as well as impose penalties on Russians who use digital assets illegally.
The statement emphasized that current measures already apply to cryptocurrencies, which the EU reiterated two days earlier.
According to a White House fact sheet, sanctions imposed on Russia “require[d] all U.S. persons to comply with sanctions regulations regardless of whether a transaction is denominated in traditional fiat currency or virtual currency.” The Treasury stated that it will use its “broad enforcement authorities” against violators.
Separately, Ukraine’s vice prime minister, Mykhailo Fedorov, urged Tether, the supplier of the crypto market’s largest stablecoin, to prohibit all Russian transactions as a “peace” gesture. This follows Fedorov’s demand to major cryptocurrency exchanges to exclude Russian customers, stating that it was “critical” to “sabotage ordinary [Russian] users.” Major cryptocurrency exchanges declined his request, stating that they only restrict users when compelled by law.
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