Binance, the globally leading cryptocurrency exchange, has blocked many accounts linked to families of some high-ranking members of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s administration. The move comes as sanctions continue to heap on Russia. The reaction is specifically because of Russia’s military invasion in Ukraine.
Binance Sanctions Timeline
Since the Russian troops attacked the Ukrainian border, the stepdaughter of Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, Polina Kovaleva, and Elizaveta Peskova, the daughter of the Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov are the users who have been declined access.
Binance also denied access to Kirill Malofeev. He is the son of Russian oligarch Konstantin Malofeev. The latter has been blamed by Washington for funding pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine. Malofeev is a Putin Supporter. He is on the U.S. and EU sanctions lists and wanted by the Kyiv authorities for his involvement in the war in the Donbas region.
Earlier in April, Binance limited restricted services to Russian users to yield to the latest round of sanctions backed by the European Union. The restrictions apply to Russian nationals and residents. In addition, the restriction also covers legal commodities that have crypto assets transcending €10,000 ($10,800) in value on the platform.
Approximately a month ago, Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao said that the exchange was freezing the accounts of sanctioned Russian individuals but also insisted that clogging all Russians would be unethical. At the same time, the executive dismissed any rumors suggesting that cryptocurrencies could help Moscow bypass western sanctions.
Binance informed that it blocked Peskova on March 3, when she tried to use the exchange via a third party. She was sanctioned by the U.S. Treasury Department the following week.
Further, Kovaleva’s account was shuttered on March 24. The day she was sanctioned by the U.K. Malofeev was picked by the U.S. Treasury on April 20 and had his Binance accounts were also blocked this week.
Chagri Poyraz the Head of Sanctions mentions, that the crypto exchange will continue its actions to pinpoint other people connected to sanctioned individuals. He also added that their compliance screen operations are fierce and aim to detect and prevent financial crime risks before any regulatory or legal action against these individuals or entities.
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