The leaders of the Group of Seven (G7) nations released a joint statement on March 11, discussing further penalties against Russia. According to the statement, the nations have taken wide, restrictive measures that have gravely harmed Russia’s economy and financial system since Russian President Vladimir Putin started an invasion of Ukraine on February 24. Among the additional actions promised by the G7 countries are maintaining the efficacy of our restrictive measures, clamping down on evasion, and eliminating loopholes.
The following are the specifics of the G7 joint statement: in addition to other efforts to prevent evasion, the nations will guarantee that the Russian state and its elites, proxies, and oligarchs cannot use digital assets to avoid or mitigate the impact of international sanctions. The G7 leaders expressed concern that this would further restrict their access to the global financial system. It is well acknowledged that our present sanctions already encompass crypto-assets, they added.
The statement continued that we (G7 nations) promise to adopt steps to better identify and prevent illegal conduct, and we will impose fines on unlawful Russian actors who use digital assets to increase and transfer their riches, in accordance with our national rules.
The Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) of the United States Department of the Treasury also released recommendations on March 11 to guard against potential attempts to exploit virtual currency to cheat U.S. sanctions imposed on Russia. The guidelines emphasise that all people in the United States must comply with OFAC requirements regardless of whether a transaction is denominated in traditional fiat money or virtual currency. According to the guidelines, US individuals, wherever they are situated, including companies that handle virtual currency transactions, must be cautious against attempts to bypass OFAC laws and must take risk-based procedures to ensure they do not engage in unlawful activities.
OFAC is closely monitoring any attempts to bypass or breach Russia-related sanctions, including the use of virtual currency, and is committed to using its extensive enforcement authority to prosecute violators and promote compliance.
Last week, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen also stated that the Treasury is monitoring cryptocurrency use to escape sanctions, and the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) issued red flags on suspected cryptocurrency sanctions evasion.