Bitcoin News

EU Targets Crypto Assets in Widened Sanctions Against Russia, Belarus

The European Commission welcomed Wednesday’s agreement among the 27 European Union members to amend the bloc regulations that impose sanctions on Russia for its military attack on Ukraine and Belarus for its involvement. These changes will ensure that the restrictions are not circumvented.

We are increasing the number of sanctions in response to Russia’s aggression military against Ukraine

*Listing 160 people: Oligarchs, Russian Federation Council members
*Belarus banking sector
*Export of maritime navigation tech to Russia
*Adding crypto-assets

– Ursula von der Leyen (@vonderleyen) March 9, 2022

Another 160 people are being punished by Russia for their involvement in acts that threaten Ukraine’s sovereignty. This group includes 14 prominent businessmen and oligarchs, as well as 146 members the Federation Council, which is the highest house of Russian parliament and who ratified Moscow’s decision to recognize the rebel republics of Donetsk, and Lugansk.

The European measures are now applicable to an total of 862 Russian citizens and 53 Russian entities. As concerns grow that Russia’s elites and government may use cryptocurrency to circumvent western sanctions, crypto assets were also targeted. These assets are now included in the ‘transferable security’ category. This announcement was noted:

The EU confirmed that loans and credit can also be provided using any method, which includes crypto assets. It also clarified the concept of ‘transferable security’ to include crypto-assets and ensure proper implementation of restrictions.

The European Union is taking steps to restrict Russia’s ability to avoid sanctions via Belarus. Many Belarusian banks, including Belagroprombank and Bank Dabrabyt as well as their subsidiaries, have been removed from SWIFT (the global interbank messaging system).

Transactions with the Central Bank of Belarus related to investment financing and asset management have also been banned. These amendments aim to “significantly limit financial inflows from Belarus into the EU by banning the acceptance of deposits exceeding EUR100.000 from Belarusian residents or nationals.”

Despite the EU still being in process of implementing its cryptocurrency regulations, the EU has added crypto assets. The Markets in Crypto Assets ( MICA) proposal has been submitted to the European Parliament. It will be voted on by its Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee, ECON (March 14).

After Russia’s attack on Ukraine last month, Christine Lagarde, President of European Central Bank, urged EU authorities for approval to the regulatory package quickly to stop Moscow from using cryptocurrencies to bypass European sanctions.