The European Union, in its fifth package of sanctions on Russia, has banned the provision of high-value crypto-asset services to the transcontinental country. It aims to close any loopholes following speculations that the Kremlin might turn to crypto-assets to beat the extensive financial sanctions imposed by the West.
An official statement highlighted that the latest measure will contribute to closing potential loopholes. Action would be taken on providing advice on trusts to wealthy Russians – making it more difficult for them to store their wealth in the EU. It also noted that the sanctions extended to prohibiting deposits to crypto wallets. These additional measures follow Russia’s latest atrocities in Bucha.
EU-based crypto exchanges, following the invasion, were compelled to implement the sanctions formally forbidding transactions from targeted individuals in Russia. Concerns had been raised about some loopholes, which had also been acknowledged by Christine Lagarde – the President of the European Central Bank.
The European Union has also banned the sale of banknotes and transferable securities such as shares denominated in any official currencies of the EU member states. The full transaction ban on four Russian banks has now been further confirmed through the latest round of sanctions.
It’s interesting to note that the Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin has maintained and time and again reiterated that cryptocurrencies as a means of the settlement remain banned in Russia. He said the government supports the central bank’s view that cryptocurrencies cannot be used as a legal payment option in the country. Russia’s central bank has been pushing for a full ban on cryptocurrencies.