Binance’s cryptocurrency exchange has taken additional measures to stop the Russian government using crypto to mitigate the effects of sanctions.
Bloomberg reported that Binance shut down accounts linked to relatives of top Kremlin officials in the two-months since Russia’s military intervention in Ukraine.
According to the report, the people affected were Elizaveta Peskova (the daughter of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskova) and Polina Koleva (the stepdaughter Sergei Lavrov). Binance claimed that it had also blocked Kirill Malofeyev (the son of Konstantin Malofeyev), a Russian oligarch previously charged with violating US sanctions.
Chagri Poyraz was recently appointed as the global head of sanctions for Binance. He wrote that he was proud to be part of a team that makes a difference.
Poyraz claimed that Binance had blocked Peskova’s access to the exchange on March 3. She tried to use a third-party broker. The United States Treasury Department sanctioned her on March 11, as part of sanctions against “Kremlin leaders, elites, and families for supporting Putin’s war against Ukraine.”
Peskova later expressed outrage at the Western sanctions and stated that they were “totally unjustified and unfounded”. Peskova posted a single word on Instagram, March 12, titled “Peace.”
Poyraz says Binance continues monitoring its platform for sanctioned people who might be using its services.
He said that the compliance screening operations are “proactive” and aim to deter financial crime risk, he explained.
Binance adopted restrictions on April 21 for Russian residents or nationals. These restrictions limit trading on accounts worth more than 10,000 euro, or $10,800. Changpeng Zhao, Binance CEO, previously stated that Binance would comply with sanctions but not “unilaterally lock millions of innocent users’ accounts” because of Western sanctions against Russia.
Similar: EU bans Russia from providing high-value crypto-asset service
The latest report confirms Binance’s willingness to comply with sanctions. It also indicates that relatives of top Russian officials may be closely tied to cryptocurrency like Bitcoin (BTC). This is despite the Bank of Russia’s hostility towards Bitcoin and refusal to accept crypto investments in the country.
It is also important to note that certain Russian officials, along with their spouses, and children, are prohibited from investing in crypto, according to Russian laws.