EU Bans High-Value Crypto Services From Russia In New Round Of Sanctions
European institutions are closing crypto loopholes for Russia with the latest set of sanctions imposed by the EU for Moscow’s aggression against Ukraine. The new sanctions prohibit the provision of “high-value” crypto-asset services to Russian entities and residents.
EU limits Russian deposits in crypto wallets to €10,000
Expanding its sanctions in response to the Russian military assault on Ukraine, the European Union has once again targeted cryptocurrencies. On Friday, the European Commission, the executive body in Brussels, welcomed the fifth round of restrictions agreed by the EU Council. They were designed to “further contribute to increasing economic pressure on the Kremlin and cripple its ability to fund its invasion of Ukraine.”
The new Council Regulation, published in the Official Journal of the European Union, prohibits the supply of “high-value” crypto-asset services to the Russian Federation. It applies to crypto wallet, account or custody services for Russian citizens, other residents and legal entities established in the country, if the total value of digital funds exceeds €10,000 (nearly €11,000 $). The EU stressed:
Given the seriousness of the situation and in response to Russia’s military aggression against Ukraine, new restrictive measures should be introduced. In particular, the deposit ban should be extended to crypto-wallets.
Similarly, the EU limits escrow deposits by Russian individuals and organizations, but the threshold is much higher, at €100,000. The measures, intended to close various other loopholes, also prohibit the sale of banknotes and securities denominated in euros or other official currencies of EU member states to Russia and Belarus, the ally closest to Moscow, or to any person or entity registered there.
The financial restrictions also include the freezing of assets and a total ban on transactions of four Russian banks representing a quarter of the country’s banking sector. At the end of February, Western allies, including EU members and institutions, excluded “certain Russian banks” from the SWIFT messaging network for interbank payments. The European Commission and the Council have noted that Russian financial institutions are now “completely cut off from EU markets”.
Do you expect the EU to further tighten the crypto-related sanctions imposed on Russia in connection with the conflict in Ukraine? Let us know in the comments section below.
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