In its latest wave of sanctions on Vladimir Putin’s regime, the European Union (EU) has prohibited any digital asset transfers to Russia. The EU’s most recent declaration was the 8th package of sanctions aimed at Russia.
The 27-member bloc said in a news statement that the action is in response to “Russia’s continuous escalation of the unlawful war against Ukraine, including illegally annexing Ukrainian land based on sham referendums,’ mobilizing more soldiers, and making open nuclear threats.”
Aim of the Ban
Sanctions aim at oil price limits, imports, exports, information technology, and financial consulting services. Among them is a new prohibition on European firms trading virtual assets with Russian persons or businesses.
“The current limitations on crypto assets have been strengthened by prohibiting any crypto-asset wallets, custody services or accounts, regardless of the value of the wallet.” the EU said.
Reports of an expected penalty tightening have been circulating over the last two weeks. They came after President Putin’s administration sponsored annexation referendums in four Ukrainian areas, which Russia claims decided to leave Ukraine.
The EU condemned these “fake” referendums, with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen telling the media, “The sham referendums conducted in Russia-occupied regions are an unlawful effort to take territory and modify international boundaries by force.”
The EU was looking to increase penalties on digital assets, among other things. According to one official, despite the earlier €10,000 restriction, the bloc “realised that transactions were still taking place on some scale.” We sought to ensure that these services were no longer provided” by firms based in Europe.