The Prime Minister of Estonia has said that cryptocurrencies should be restricted to address loopholes that can be used by sanctioned Russian entities to evade punitive measures. In addition, the prime minister wants all Russian and Belarusian banks to be removed from the global payment network.
Sanctions Evasion Concerns
Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas has told US Secretary of State Antony Blinken that cryptocurrencies must be “restricted” to deny Russia the opportunity to evade recently imposed sanctions.
Remarks by Prime Minister Kallas, published by Reuters, came a day after the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) order financial institutions be vigilant for Russian attempts to evade sanctions.
The comments were made because the Biden Administration is expected to sign an executive order directing US agencies to study the legal and economic implications of creating a central bank digital currency (CBDC).
In addition to calling for restrictions on cryptocurrencies, the Estonian prime minister also told visiting Blinken that all Russian and Belarusian banks must be removed from the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications (SWIFT) messaging system.
Kallas, explaining why such action against Russia is necessary, emphasized:
Our focus must be on [the] total isolation of Russia from the free world.
Elizabeth Warren’s Proposal
Since the beginning of Russia’s military action against Ukraine, the US and the EU have responded removing some Russian banks of the SWIFT messaging system. In addition, allied governments have forbidden Russia to use the US dollar, the euro, the British pound and the Japanese yen.
However, some in the US and Europe continue to argue that blacklisted Russian entities can use cryptocurrencies to evade sanctions. These concerns have reportedly led US Senator Elizabeth Warren to begin working on a draftthat if it becomes law, it would make it more difficult to evade sanctions using cryptocurrencies.
What do you think about the call from Prime Minister Kaja Kallas? You can share your thoughts in the comments section below.
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