Mykhailo Fedorov, Ukraine’s Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Digital Transformation tweeted on Feb 28 ” I’m asking all major crypto exchanges to block addresses of Russian users.” He added, “it’s crucial to freeze not only the addresses linked to Russian and Belarusian politicians but also to sabotage ordinary users”. Many companies since then started to seize their services in Russia. Netflix and Microsoft paused their business conduct in Russia. Fedorov is leaving no stone unturned in urging to cease all foreign services in Russia since the war started.
He urged 8 cryptocurrency exchanges to put a stop to the services that are provided to Russians by sending them letters, highlighting that digital currencies are being used to evade economic sanctions. Those eight letters that are sent include two of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges, Coinbase and Binance.
On this, the CEO of Coinbase Brian Armstrong tweeted ” we are not preemptively banning all Russians from Coinbase. We believe everyone deserves access to basic financial services unless the law says otherwise.” But later on March 7, Coinbase made a statement that to facilitate sanction enforcement, it had blocked more than 25,000 wallet addresses of Russians who they thought to be engaged in illicit activities and also reported them to the US government.
On the other hand, Binance’s spokesperson told CNBC that they are not going to unilaterally freeze millions of innocent users’ accounts. He further added “Crypto is meant to provide greater financial freedom for people across the globe. To unilaterally decide to ban people’s access to their crypto would fly in the face of the reason why crypto exists.” And other Cryptocurrency exchanges also mentioned that though they will continue to offer access to ordinary Russians, they are complying with US law regarding sanctions.
Other than the cryptocurrency matter, the US president revoked all trading relations with Russia. US President Biden banned all oil and gas imports from Russia. He said on Friday that to revoke Russia’s permanent normal trade relation status, he will work with Congress. The very reason behind this statement is Russia’s war on Ukraine.
Not only does this end here, but reports say that Biden has also announced banning the import of seafood, vodka, and diamonds from Russia and export of watches, luxury vehicles, alcohol, clothing, and jewelry to Russia as well.
Russia’s most favored nation status is also revoked by the G7 and European Union.