Crypto as an abbreviation: Russian CEO defies EU sanctions

The European Union and Russia have been at odds since the Russian invasion of Ukraine. In response, the EU imposed tough sanctions on Russia, but now one Russian is questioning how well these measures are working. A well-known Russian manager managed to sell crypto stocks worth 15 million British pounds.

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The Russian banker had UK crypto stocks

The Guardian writes this. The Russian Mikhail Klyukin is known for his role as a board member of Russia’s Sovcombank. That’s why he’s there United States sanctions list, which the United Kingdom also adheres to. These sanctions have been in place since the start of the war, yet Klyukin has managed to sell crypto stocks worth a whopping 15 million British pounds.

He owned 2% of London-based crypto custodian Copper Technologies. At the head of this company is the former British Finance Minister Philip Hammond. The Guardian finds it remarkable that Klyukin has managed to retain this stake for so long. He sold in May 2022, while the scheme was already introduced in March 2022. Almost immediately, the assets of Russians on the sanctions list were frozen. So the CEO still had the option to sell.

But that is not all. After the sale, Copper allowed the 46-year-old CEO to sell the £15 million for cryptocurrencies, which were then sent to a Klyukin wallet. It is not clear whether he still owns these assets and what their current value is. According to The Guardian, the sale was possible because it was not in US dollars. As a result, the United States did not recognize that an illegal sale was taking place.

Sanctions still apply

Furthermore, the sanctions imposed in 2022 applied not only to traditional assets such as stocks, but also to cryptocurrencies. They do not require a traditional financial system and therefore no banks, which is why imposing these sanctions is a little more complicated.

The Russian state and Russian mercenaries have therefore made good use of crypto and blockchain to finance the war. The EU can see transactions, but cannot always make them impossible.

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