• The EU has announced that sanctions against Russia and Belarus have been extended to include cryptocurrency

  • The European Union (EU) has stated that the sanctions imposed on Russia and Belarus include crypto assets.

    • Crypto assets are classified as “transferable securities,” and so are plainly covered in the scope of sanctions imposed on Russia for its invasion of Ukraine and on Belarus for its involvement.
    • “Any means, including crypto assets, can be used to give loans and credit,” the EU stated on Wednesday.
    • The EU also declared that existing financial restrictions on Belarus would be expanded to mimic those already in place on Russia.
    • These include limits on the provision of SWIFT services to three Belarusian banks and their subsidiaries, a prohibition on transactions with the Central Bank of Belarus, and a prohibition on the list of securities relating to Belarus state-owned enterprises on EU trading exchanges.
    • Concerns have been expressed by US politicians that cryptocurrency could be used by Russia to avoid sanctions, but the extent of this is debatable. Salman Banei, head of public policy at blockchain analytics firm Chainalysis, said that this was “unlikely.”
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