Crypto asset exchange of digital assets Binance has suspended accounts with ties to Russian government officials’ relatives.
Faced with escalating international sanctions in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the trading platform stated that it will continue to screen customers for connections to sanctioned persons.
Binance suspended the daughter of the Kremlin spokesman’s account when she attempted to utilize the exchange following Moscow’s economic sanctions.
Binance – the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange in terms of trading volume – is implementing additional safeguards to prevent the Russian government from reducing the impact of sanctions through the usage of cryptocurrency.
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Blocking Russia’s Elite
Binance said Polina Kovaleva, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov’s stepdaughter, and Elizaveta Peskova, President Vladimir Putin’s representative Dmitry Peskov’s daughter, were among those barred over the last two months.
The cryptocurrency exchange also said that it had blocked Kirill Malofeyev, the son of Konstantin Malofeyev, a Russian oligarch previously charged with violating US sanctions.
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Washington has accused Malofeev of supporting pro-Russian militants in Ukraine. Malofeev, who is sanctioned by the US and EU and sought by Kyiv authorities for his alleged role in the Donbas war, is a Putin admirer.
According to Chagri Poyraz, the firm’s newly hired global head of sanctions based in Vancouver, the exchange is continuing its monitoring to identify other persons affiliated with sanctioned individuals who may be utilizing its services.
Binance Complies With New Sanctions
The announcement of the closed accounts comes on the heels of Binance restricting services to Russian customers earlier this month in order to comply with the European Union’s newest string of sanctions.
Russian nationals, residents, and legal companies with crypto assets worth more than $10,800 on the platform are subject to the limitations.
Binance has won praise for the crackdown from industry experts concerned about potential sanctions evasion via bitcoin. However, it has sparked a response from others who believe the limits are excessive.
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“Proud to be a part of this team that truly makes a difference,” Poyraz stated on his LinkedIn profile regarding Binance’s recent efforts.
Kovaleva, Peskova, and Malofeev did not return written requests for comment immediately.
Changpeng Zhao, CEO of Binance, previously stated that the company will adhere to sanctions but will not “unilaterally block the accounts of millions of innocent users” in response to Western sanctions against Russia.
Featured image from The Chain Bulletin, chart from TradingView.com