On March 14, the Japanese government requested that local cryptocurrency exchanges stop dealing with Russian companies and individuals sanctioned as a result of Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine. The request comes after seven Russian banks were banned from using the international payment network SWIFT on Saturday.
Since cryptocurrencies cannot be transferred through banks and regulations vary by country and exchange, there has been a growing concern that they could be used to evade sanctions. In addition, Japan has asked local cryptocurrency exchanges to also halt transactions with Belarusian companies due to Minsk’s support for Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine. Japan has already sanctioned cryptocurrency to hinder Russia’s trade and money transactions.
Despite the request, monitoring instant transfers between cryptocurrency users is challenging. The government’s request for 30 cryptocurrency exchanges not to transfer assets is addressed to 44 Russian individuals and 10 entities, including Russian President Vladimir Putin. Sanctions have been imposed on 19 people and 15 organizations in Belarus, which has helped Moscow’s aggressiveness. These also include President Alexander Lukashenko.
The Japanese government has also requested that exchanges increase their oversight of crypto assets and report suspicious transactions involving people subject to the sanctions to the financial authorities. It is worth noting that the Japanese Ministry of Finance clarified in October 2020 that the asset freezing rule also applies to cryptocurrencies.
War between Russia and Ukraine
Meanwhile, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has stated that talks between Ukrainian and Russian representatives will resume on Tuesday. Zelenskyy said in a video message that the Ukrainian delegation did a fantastic job at Monday’s meeting.
The most recent round of talks, held via video conference on Monday, involved senior officials from both countries and was the first in a week. After many hours of talks, according to an adviser to Zelenskyy, the negotiators took a “technical halt” and planned to meet again on Tuesday.
In addition, the European Union (EU) has announced that the bloc’s 27 members have agreed on a new package of measures to punish Russia for its invasion of Ukraine. Last Monday, EU member states agreed to impose new sanctions on 160 people and to impose new export restrictions on marine navigation and radio communications equipment.
They also voted to exclude three Belarusian banks from participating in SWIFT, the world’s most widely used financial messaging system. In total, 862 individuals and 53 organizations are now subject to EU restrictive measures.