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G7 Countries: We will ensure that Russia is unable to evade sanctions by using crypto assets

We will ensure that Russia is unable to evade sanctions by using crypto assets
This picture taken on April 5, 2019, shows flags of European Union, Germany, United-Kingdome, the Un... This picture taken on April 5, 2019, shows flags of European Union, Germany, United-Kingdome, the United States of America, France, Canada, Italy and Japan during a meeting to prepare the G7 Summit in Biarritz which will take place from August 25 to 27, 2019, in Dinard. (Photo by Damien MEYER / AFP) (Photo credit should read DAMIEN MEYER/AFP/Getty Images)
We will ensure that Russia is unable to evade sanctions by using crypto assets
This picture taken on April 5, 2019, shows flags of European Union, Germany, United-Kingdome, the Un... This picture taken on April 5, 2019, shows flags of European Union, Germany, United-Kingdome, the United States of America, France, Canada, Italy and Japan during a meeting to prepare the G7 Summit in Biarritz which will take place from August 25 to 27, 2019, in Dinard. (Photo by Damien MEYER / AFP) (Photo credit should read DAMIEN MEYER/AFP/Getty Images)

“We will ensure that the Russian state and elites, proxies and oligarchs cannot leverage digital assets as a means of evading or offsetting the impact of international sanctions,” the Group of Seven (G7) countries said in a joint statement. Meanwhile, the US Treasury Department is “closely monitoring any attempts to circumvent or violate Russia-related sanctions, including through the use of virtual currency,” according to the US Treasury Department.

The G7 is committed to ensuring that Russia cannot use crypto to evade sanctions

On Friday, the leaders of the Group of Seven (G7) countries issued a joint statement regarding additional sanctions against Russia. “Our countries have imposed expansive, restrictive measures that have severely compromised Russia’s economy and financial system,” the statement says, referring to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine on February 24.

“Maintaining the effectiveness of our restrictive measures, cracking down on evasion, and closing loopholes” is one of the measures the G7 countries have committed to taking further.

The G7 joint statement contains the following information:

In particular, we will ensure that the Russian state and elites, proxies, and oligarchs cannot use digital assets to evade or offset the impact of international sanctions, in addition to other measures planned to prevent evasion.

This, according to the G7 leaders, “will further restrict their access to the global financial system.” “It is widely understood that our current sanctions already cover crypto-assets,” they said.

MORE:

The following is the rest of the statement:

We pledge to take steps to better detect and prevent illegal activity, and we will impose costs on illegal Russian actors who use digital assets to enhance and transfer their wealth, in accordance with our domestic procedures.

The US Treasury is keeping an eye on the cryptocurrency sector in order to prevent sanctions evasion.

The Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) of the US Department of the Treasury also issued guidance on Friday “to guard against potential attempts to use virtual currency to evade US sanctions imposed on Russia.” All U.S. persons must “comply with OFAC regulations, regardless of whether a transaction is denominated in traditional fiat currency or virtual currency,” according to the guidance.

“U.S. persons, wherever they are located, including firms that process virtual currency transactions, must be vigilant against attempts to circumvent OFAC regulations and must take risk-based steps to ensure they do not engage in prohibited transactions,” according to the guidance, which also says:

OFAC is keeping a close eye on any attempts to circumvent or violate Russia-related sanctions, including through the use of virtual currency, and is committed to using its broad enforcement powers to stop violations and promote compliance.

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen stated last week that the Treasury Department is monitoring cryptocurrency use to evade sanctions, and the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) has issued red flags on potential cryptocurrency sanctions evasion.


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