EU Imposes New Sanctions Targeting Crypto Wallets of Russian Oligarchs

As the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine rages on, the European Union (EU) Council has imposed a new set of sanctions on the former as a way of forcing a ceasefire in line with calls from prominent industry leaders. Per the new sanctions imposed, there is now an extended restriction on deposits to the crypto-wallets of Russians, especially the oligarchs and the families of already sanctioned Russian personalities.

Besides this, additional four major banks have been banned, all of which make up about 23% of the market share of the Russian financial sector. The ban notably cuts off the access of these banks to the European Union market, as it complements the earlier SWIFT ban announced in the past weeks.

“These latest sanctions were adopted following the atrocities committed by Russian armed forces in Bucha and other places under Russian occupation. The aim of our sanctions is to stop the reckless, inhuman, and aggressive behaviour of the Russian troops and make clear to the decision makers in the Kremlin that their illegal aggression comes at a heavy cost,” said Josep Borrell, High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.

The new bans are essential as there have been insinuations from experts on the likelihood of Russian entities evading sanctions using cryptocurrencies. With the extended ban on deposits on crypto wallets affiliated with Russian individuals, the access to the broader international market has further been limited for the Kremlin.

EU Sanctions on Commodities

The EU sanctions are more comprehensive than their specificity to crypto wallets as the European Union leaders have devised means to faze out dependence on coal and fossil fuel exports being imported from Russia. The ban on Russian coal imports will take place from August 2022.

Besides notable government actions against Russia, there have been a lot of targeted actions from crypto-linked and fintech platforms, most of whom have halted their services to Russia in the wake of the country’s invasion of Ukraine.

Mastercard and Visa are amongst the financial services firms that have forsaken Russia and with the compliments from the EU Council, Russia is on track to be incapacitated in the long run to continue its aggressive attack, especially on the civilian population.