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US Treasury Intensifies Sanctions on These Russian Financial Institutions

2 mins
Updated by Ryan Boltman
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In Brief

  • The US Treasury's OFAC expanded sanctions on Russia's financial and tech sectors, targeting 13 entities and 2 individuals.
  • These entities are involved in virtual assets potentially bypassing US sanctions, hindering Russia's actions against Ukraine.
  • Meanwhile, Russia considers crypto regulation amid sanctions pressure, and CommEx, a major crypto exchange, shuts down after taking over Binance's operations.
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The US Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) has broadened its sanctions, targeting individuals and entities within Russia’s financial and technology sectors.

This action impacts thirteen entities and two individuals. They are involved with virtual assets that could bypass US sanctions. Notably, five of these entities are linked to individuals previously sanctioned by OFAC.

Treasury Targets Firms Aiding Russian Sanctions Evasion

These steps build on OFAC’s efforts from February 23, 2024. The aim is to cut off Russia’s access to vital financial infrastructure, thereby hindering its military actions against Ukraine. Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, Brian E. Nelson pointed out Russia’s shift towards alternative payment methods.

These methods help Russia avoid US sanctions and continue its conflict with Ukraine. Nelson stressed that the Treasury would keep identifying and countering firms that assist sanctioned Russian financial bodies in reconnecting with the global financial system.

“As the Kremlin seeks to leverage entities in the financial technology space, Treasury will continue to expose and disrupt the companies that seek to help sanctioned Russian financial institutions reconnect to the global financial system.” Nelson Stated.

As a consequence, authorities have frozen all US assets and property interests of the designated individuals and entities. Reporting to OFAC is mandatory for them. Additionally, entities that the sanctioned parties own at least 50% of are also subject to these restrictions. OFAC’s regulations generally forbid any transactions by US persons that involve property or interests of the designated parties, barring specific exemptions.

Read More: Crypto Regulation: What Are the Benefits and Drawbacks?

Russia Considers Crypto Regulation Amid Growing Sanctions Pressure

Meanwhile, in Russia, the dialogue around using cryptocurrencies for transactions is gaining momentum. Finance Minister Siluanov’s recent remarks emphasize a balanced approach to the crypto market, favoring regulation over prohibition. This perspective suggests a strategic recalibration in Russia’s stance towards digital currencies amid increasing sanctions.

In a related development, CommEx, a prominent crypto exchange seen as Russia’s counterpart to Binance, is closing down. This announcement follows the exchange’s takeover of Binance’s operations in Russia, a move shrouded in secrecy. CommEx has initiated a phased shutdown, significantly affecting Russia’s cryptocurrency community and signaling uncertain times ahead for the nation’s crypto market.

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Ryan Boltman
Ryan Boltman is a managing editor at BeInCrypto, specializing in the crypto markets with a strong focus on technical and on-chain analysis across a broad spectrum of digital assets. His areas of expertise include Layer-1 and Layer-2 solutions, artificial intelligence (AI), real-world assets (RWA), decentralized finance (DeFi), decentralized physical infrastructure networks (DePIN), meme coins, and altcoins. Before his current role, Ryan contributed to Blockchain.com as a customer success...
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