The European Union has issued a statement clarifying that cryptocurrencies are included in the sections against Russia and Belarus. The tough sanctions against Russia and Belarus are in line with the ongoing invasion of Ukraine by Russia.
The clarification by the EU comes amid concerns that Russian citizens and oligarchs could result to using cryptocurrencies to evade the sanctions.
Expansion of the list of sanctions
While issuing the clarification, the European Commission also detailed the expansion of the existing sanctions against Belarus and Russia. Belarus is taking a hit for its complicity in the Russian invasion of Ukraine where it has also provided a staging ground for Russian forces.
The issued statement:
“Confirm[s] the common understanding that loans and credit can be provided by any means, including crypto assets, as well as further [clarify] the notion of ‘transferable securities,’ so as to clearly include crypto assets, and thus ensure the proper implementation of the restrictions in place.”
According to the issued statement, any attempt to use cryptocurrencies in circumventing the sanctions in transacting with the sanctioned Russian individuals and companies would be a violation of the EU sanctions.
Besides clarifying that digital assets were included in the sanctions, the EU introduced further sanctions against Belarus for allowing Russia to station its troops in the country before moving into Ukraine. Belarus was already sanctioned for its increasingly repressive government led by President Alexander Lukashenko.
The extended sanctions on Belarus impose strict restrictions on Belarus citizens from accessing SWFIT in the country similar to those living in Russia. They also prohibit any transactions, either related to assets or reserves, with the Central Bank of Belarus.
The EU also prohibits the listing of Belarusian state-owned entities on the EU exchanges and prohibits the issuance of euro-denominated banknotes to Belarus.
In addition, 160 more individuals including Russian oligarchs and their families have been added to the EU’s sanctions. In total 862 individuals and 53 entities have been received sanctions in response to the Ukrainian invasion by Russia.
Ukraine continues to receive donations in crypto
While Russia and Belarus have been hit left right and center with severe sanctions by countries around the world, Ukraine has received worldwide support with the crypto community coming to their rescue by sending crypto donations to addresses provided by the Ukrainian government.
Ukraine has received donations in various cryptocurrencies ranging from Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Polkadot (DOT), Dogecoin (DOGE), Solana (SOL), among others.