EU Bans High-Value Crypto Services to Russia in New Round of Sanctions

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EU Bans High-Value Crypto Services to Russia in New Round of Sanctions – With the EU’s newest set of sanctions issued in response to Moscow’s action against Ukraine, European institutions are shutting crypto loopholes for Russia. The new sanctions prevent Russian organizations and residents from receiving “high-value” crypto-asset services.

The European Union has targeted cryptocurrencies once again as part of its sanctions reaction to Russia’s military invasion on Ukraine. The European Commission, the EU’s executive body in Brussels, commended the EU Council’s fifth round of restrictions on Friday.

Also Read: India’s Digital Currency to Take Very Calibrated and Graduated Approach – RBI Deputy Governor Says

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They’re meant to “additionally contribute to raising economic pressure on the Kremlin and undermining its ability to fund the war of Ukraine.”

The offering of “high-value” crypto-asset services to the Russian Federation is prohibited under a new Council regulation published in the Official Journal of the European Union.

If the entire value of the digital cash surpasses €10,000 (about $11,000), it applies to accounts, crypto wallet, or custody services for Russian citizens, some other residents, as well as legal companies registered in the country.

The EU emphasized the following:

“In view of the intensity of the situation and also in response to Russia’s military aggression towards Ukraine, it is appropriate to implement more rigorous limitations.” “It is especially reasonable to extend the deposit prohibition to crypto wallets.”

Similarly, the EU prohibits Russian people and organizations from making fiat deposits, but the threshold is significantly higher, at €100,000. The rules also prohibit the selling of banknotes and transferable assets denominated in the euro or other recognized currencies of EU member states to Russia and Belarus, Moscow’s closest allies, or to any person or business registered in those countries.

Also Read: Bank of Russia Rejects Idea of Using Cryptocurrency to Circumvent Sanctions

The financial limitations include asset freeze and a complete prohibition on transactions by four Russian banks, which account for a fifth of the country’s banking sector. 

Western allies, notably EU members and institutions, removed “selected Russian banks” from the SWIFT messaging network for interbank payments in late February. Russian financial institutions are now “totally blocked off from EU markets,” according to the European Commission and Council.

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