Binance Blocks Accounts Linked to Relatives of Senior Russian Officials – Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange according to Bloomberg has blocked many accounts tied to relatives of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s administration officials. Sanctions are still continuing to fall on the country as a result of the Russian military assault on neighboring Ukraine.
Polina Kovaleva, the stepdaughter of Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, and Elizaveta Peskova, the daughter of Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, are among those who have been denied access in the past two months since Russian forces crossed the Ukrainian border.
Kirill Malofeev, the son of Russian oligarch Konstantin Malofeev, was also banned from Binance. Malofeev, who is sanctioned by the US and EU and is wanted by Kyiv authorities for his role in the Donbas conflict, is a Putin supporter.
Binance limited its services to Russian consumers earlier this month in full compliance with the European Union’s current round of restrictions, which resulted in the closure of the accounts. The restrictions apply to Russian nationals, residents, and legal entities who have crypto assets worth more than €10,000 ($10,800) on the platform.
Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao announced in early March that the exchange was freezing the accounts of sanctioned Russians, but that barring all Russians would be “unethical.” Similarly, the executive downplayed worries that cryptocurrency could aid Moscow in evading Western sanctions.
When Peskova sought to use Binance through a third-party brokerage on March 3, the exchange blocked her. The US Treasury Department sanctioned her the following week, according to the report.
Binance Blocks Accounts Linked to Relatives of Senior Russian Officials – The crypto exchange will continue its efforts to find other people associated with sanctioned individuals, according to the platform’s global director of sanctions.
“What sets us apart is that our compliance screening measures are proactive, attempting to identify and mitigate financial crime risk before regulatory or legal action is taken against such individuals or firms,” Chagri Poyraz concluded.