EU Tightens Crypto Ban On Russia In Latest Round Of Sanctions
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has entered its seventh month and the European Union (EU) has now moved to institute its eighth round of sanctions against the country.
The European Union has instituted the eighth round of sanctions against Russia over its invasion of Ukraine by introducing additional bans, including cryptocurrency services. The EU said in a press statement on October 6:
The existing prohibitions on crypto assets have been tightened by banning all crypto-asset wallets, accounts, or custody services, irrespective of the amount of the wallet (previously up to €10,000 was allowed).
EU Tightens Previous Measures
In early April the EU banned the provision of high-value crypto services in Russia in an attempt to “close potential loopholes” and make it more difficult for rich Russian to store their money in the bloc. Along with banning cryptocurrency services, other measures in the latest round of sanctions include “ EU import bans worth €7 billion to curb Russia’s revenues, as well as export restrictions, which will further deprive the Kremlin’s military and industrial complex of key components and technologies and Russia’s economy of European services and expertise.”
Additionally, the new sanctions prohibit IT consultancy, legal advisory, architecture, and engineering services to be provided to the Russian government. Sanctions are also imposed against individuals and entities “involved in Russia’s occupation, illegal annexation, and sham “referenda” in the occupied territories/oblasts of Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson, and Zaporizhzhia regions.” Sanctions are also imposed against high-ranking military officials and companies that support the Russian armed forces.
The Russian central bank has long been vocal about its anti-crypto stance, viewing it as competition for its own Ruble fiat currency. The Bank of Russia however reached an agreement with the Finance Ministry in early September to legalise cryptocurrency cross-border payments, saying that in current conditions, it is virtually impossible to operate without cross-border settlements in cryptocurrencies.
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