European sanctions on Russia and Belarus to include crypto

As a result of the Ukraine conflict, the European Commission has clarified that additional sanctions will be imposed on crypto assets against Russia and Belarus.

European sanctions on Russia and Belarus to include crypto

As a result of the Ukraine conflict, the European Commission has clarified that additional sanctions will be imposed on crypto assets against Russia and Belarus.

Members of the European Union agreed on Wednesday to amend regulations in order to prevent Russian sanctions from being circumvented, including through Belarus.

As part of the restrictive financial measures, the commission said crypto assets would not be allowed to be used for lending or credit.

Sanctions were expanded after the commission announced in February that several Russian banks would be removed from the SWIFT network. The measures did not specify how crypto was to be handled at the time.

On March 14, the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee of the European Parliament will vote on a regulatory framework for crypto assets in the EU.

Reports show Russia may use the crypto market to evade sanctions described by some as "economic warfare," which the United States and European Union have hinted they may look into.

A presidential executive order issued by U.S. President Joe Biden on Wednesday calls for the government to coordinate and consolidate on policy on crypto and explore the possibility of introducing a new digital currency backed by a central bank. The order mentions the risks of circumventing sanctions three times.

Along with the actions taken by lawmakers, a number of private businesses, including McDonald's and major credit cards companies like Visa and Mastercard, have announced they will reduce their operations in Russia and Belarus or stop them entirely in response to the situation with Ukraine.

Cryptocurrency exchange Binance also said on Tuesday that the two major credit cards issued in Russia are no longer able to be used for payment.