EU to Ban Crypto Payments for Russians Following ‘Sham’ Referenda

UTC by Darya Rudz · 3 min read
EU to Ban Crypto Payments for Russians Following ‘Sham’ Referenda
Photo: Depositphotos

The final decision on banning crypto payments for Russians has not been finalized yet as all the EU member states are still subject to the agreement.

After a series of sanctions against Russia in response to the military aggression against Ukraine, the European Union (EU) is looking to introduce further restrictions, banning crypto payments for Russians. The decision results from sham referendums held in the occupied regions of Ukraine.

Russian leaders declare that nearly 100% of those living in the occupied territories of Ukraine (which are Zaporizhzhia, Donetsk, Luhansk, and Kherson regions) voted to join Russia in sham referendums. The so-called vote at gunpoint has been declared null and void by all countries that commented on the issue.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said:

“The sham referenda organized in the territories that Russia occupied are an illegal attempt to grab land and to change international borders by force.”

Earlier in April, the EU limited Russian payments to European crypto wallets to 10,000 euros as a way to stop the use of digital assets for bypassing restrictions on large bank transfers. The restrictions also included asset freezing and a complete prohibition on transactions for four Russian banks. Now, this cap will be reduced to zero, meaning that Russians will not be able to hold any digital assets in European wallets.

In addition, Von der Leyen also announced a price cap on Russian oil, a ban on exporting aviation items as well as electronic components, and restrictions on importing Russian goods that she said would deprive the country of seven billion euros. The latest sanctions also included bans on Europeans providing architectural and engineering services for Russians and prohibited giving Russians legal or IT advice.

The final decision on banning crypto payments for Russians has not been finalized yet as all the EU member states are still subject to the agreement.

Russia Reconsidering Its Crypto Approach

Recently, Russian regulators approved cryptos like Bitcoin (BTC) for cross-border settlements, with Deputy Finance Minister Alexei Moiseev stating that the government agency and the central bank had “on the whole” agreed on the said rule that allowed citizens to send cross-border payments using cryptos. While the EU has imposed sanctions on the country, Russia is looking for ways to strengthen its relationship with China. It is planning to use the digital Ruble (CBDC) in mutual international deals with China and follow its example of launching the digital yuan.

As the Russian approach towards crypto has softened since last year, the country is reconsidering crypto cross-border payments, and there are speculations about what cryptocurrency Russia would use. Some sources suggest that it might be either Bitcoin or XRP. The transactions will be supervised by the Central Bank.

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Darya Rudz
Author Darya Rudz

Darya is a crypto enthusiast who strongly believes in the future of blockchain. Being a hospitality professional, she is interested in finding the ways blockchain can change different industries and bring our life to a different level.

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