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Saturday, February 4, 2023

G7 Countries, EU Taking Measures to Prevent Crypto Use to Evade Sanctions

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G7 Countries, EU Taking Measures to Prevent Crypto Use to Evade Sanctions – Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the Group of Seven (G7) countries are allegedly looking into measures to prevent individuals and businesses from utilizing cryptocurrencies to avoid Western sanctions.

France, Japan, Italy, Canada, Germany, the United Kingdom, and the United States make up the G7 countries.

Finance ministers and central bank governors from the G7 countries met virtually with Ukraine’s Finance Minister Serhiy Marchenko this week. AFP quoted Germany’s finance minister, Christian Lindner, as saying on Wednesday:

“We need to take steps to keep listed individuals and institutions from investing in unregulated digital assets. In the context of Germany’s G7 presidency, we are working toward this goal.”

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Also Read: Bank of Spain Governor Warns About Traditional Banking’s Exposure to Crypto Assets

“We know what the problem is, and we’re working on it,” Lindner said in a Wednesday interview with Welt TV. “It’s about totally isolating Russia at all levels,” he added, stressing that having a “maximum ability to penalize” includes crypto.

The US Treasury Department warned this week that it is keeping an eye on Russian efforts to circumvent sanctions by using cryptocurrency. “We’ll keep looking at how the sanctions work and analyz whether or not there are any leakages that we can address,” Treasury Secretary Jenet Yellen said.

Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, an increasing number of countries and organizations have imposed sanctions on it. Some Russian banks have been cut off from the SWIFT messaging system, thus isolating them from the rest of the world.

Four sanctions packages have been imposed on Moscow by the EU’s 27 member states, including the freezing of Bank of Russia assets and the disconnecting of seven Russian banks from the SWIFT financial-messaging system.

G7 Countries, EU Taking Measures to Prevent Crypto Use to Evade Sanctions – Following a meeting of EU finance ministers this week, French Finance Minister Bruno le Maire stated that cryptocurrencies will be included in the EU’s sanctions on Russia.

Also Read: Russia May ‘Nationalize’ Foreign Assets in Response to Western Sanctions, Medvedev Says

At a press conference, he stated:

“We are taking steps, particularly with regard to cryptocurrencies or crypto assets, which should not be utilized to avoid the financial penalties imposed by the EU’s 27 member states.”

The French finance minister went on to say that the sanctions on Russia had been quite effective, claiming that they had disordered the Russian financial system and rendered the Bank of Russia incapable of protecting the currency. This week, the Russian currency has lost more than 30% of its value.

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