Economy and finance ministers representing European Union nations have said they will address Russia’s potential use of cryptocurrencies to evade sanctions placed on it following its operations in Ukraine.
Speaking to reporters through an interpreter following an informal video conference of EU economy and finance ministers on Wednesday, French finance minister Bruno Le Maire said lawmakers had already worked to freeze “an amount of assets” in Russia’s central bank as part of its efforts to financially penalize the country for its ongoing efforts in Ukraine. However, he added that the 27 EU member states had decided on additional measures aimed at preventing Russia from circumventing the sanctions, including their extension to Belarus.
“We are taking measures, in particular on cryptocurrencies or crypto assets, which should not be used to circumvent financial sanctions,” Le Maire said. “We will take stock daily regarding the implementation of these sanctions, their effectiveness and any additional measures that may be necessary. When it comes to economic and financial sanctions, we want to remain flexible and mobilized.”
French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire addressing reporters on Wednesday.
German Finance Minister Christian Lindner reportedly echoed Le Maire’s comments, saying that EU leaders should “take steps to prevent listed individuals and institutions from switching to unlisted crypto assets.” regulated,” referring to the Russia-based individuals and banks named in the sanctions. After the conference. , the European Union announced that it had decided to remove seven Russian banks from the SWIFT cross-border payment system, which will take effect within 10 days.
Related: Experts Reject Worries Russia Will Use Crypto To Bypass Sanctions: ‘Totally Unfounded’
Crypto has been on the lips of many lawmakers in the past six days as world leaders search their arsenal for tools to ostensibly warn Russian President Vladimir Putin of the financial consequences of his decisions inside Ukraine.
On Feb. 25, European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde called on EU lawmakers to approve a regulatory framework on cryptocurrencies, hinting that it could prevent Russia from circumventing sanctions. In the United States, there has been a similar regulatory push by lawmakers to allow the country to profit from digital assets, rather than “the world’s despots, terrorists, and money launderers.”
This post EU is ‘taking action’ against Russia using crypto to circumvent sanctions, finance ministers say
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