The EU has approved criminal sentences for circumventing sanctions using cryptocurrencies

On March 12, MEPs approved a directive on criminalizing violations and circumvention of EU sanctions.

The EU has approved criminal sentences for circumventing sanctions using cryptocurrencies

It includes unified and more severe penalties for:

  • refusal to freeze accounts and wallets, as well as conducting transactions with fiat or cryptocurrency assets of sanctioned individuals and companies;
  • concealment of the true owner of the property and failure to provide the necessary information;
  • doing business with state-owned enterprises of sanctioned countries;
  • provision of financial services or legal advice;
  • non-compliance with travel bans;
  • Violation of the arms embargo.

The Directive qualifies the violation of sanctions as a criminal offence, entailing imprisonment for up to five years in all EU member States.

New measures have been taken to avoid circumvention of restrictions by the Russian Federation. According to the European Commission, inconsistent compliance with EU sanctions has undermined their effectiveness.

The document is awaiting approval by the EU Council. It will enter into force 20 days after publication in the Official Journal of the European Union. Member countries will have one year to transpose its provisions into national legislation.

Recall that in April 2022, the EU banned crypto companies from providing services related to digital assets to residents of the Russian Federation whose deposits exceed the amount of € 10,000.

Later, the European Parliament completely ruled out the possibility of servicing their cryptocurrency wallets in the eurozone and owning any amount of such assets.

Also, the EU, along with the United States, imposed sanctions against a number of Russian banks, effectively banning transfers from cards issued by them.


Read More