The European Union (EU) said on Wednesday that crypto assets fall under the scope of “transferable securities” in its sanctions imposed on Russia and Belarus.

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Fast facts

  • The EU is extending its sanctions to Belarus for its involvement in Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, including prohibitions on the SWIFT banking system similar to those imposed on Russia.
  • Cryptocurrency is being identified as a possible method of circumventing economic and financial sanctions, while many major crypto exchanges said they won’t block ordinary Russian users from their platforms unless there is a legal obligation to do so.
  • Further sanctions on Belarus include limiting financial inflows from the EU, prohibiting transactions with the country’s central bank, and limiting services of shares of Belarus state-owned entities in the EU.
  • Additional restrictions were introduced against 160 individuals, including 14 Russian oligarchs and 146 members of the Russian Federation Council.

 See related article: Coinbase blocks 25,000 Russian crypto wallet addresses