As the Russian invasion of Ukraine enters its second week, government officials from Europe and North America are cooperating to further increase pressure on Vladimir Putin.
According to a new report from Bloomberg, members of the Group of Seven (G7) and the European Union (EU) are looking to take advantage of the sanctions that have been put in place against Russia in recent days, including restricting access to cryptocurrencies.
The report quotes German Finance Minister Christian Lindner, who declined to provide specific details on what tools and methods are being worked on.
Linder told Welt TV in an interview that sanctioning digital assets is one option.
“It’s about isolating Russia as much as possible at all levels [and having] the maximum ability to sanction, and that includes crypto assets as well.”
The G7 is made up of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Germany currently holds the title of president of the G7.
Cryptocurrency control has been a topic of contention since February 24, when Russia launched a large-scale incursion into Ukraine as part of an ongoing conflict dating back to 2014. Governments supporting Ukraine seek to cut off access to people in Ukraine. circumvent international sanctions through anonymous cryptographic transactions.
Former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton recently said that she expects government bodies, as well as cryptocurrency exchanges, to start denying access to Russian users, telling MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow:
“I think in the specific case of Ukraine, I think the Treasury Department, I think the Europeans should look carefully at how they can prevent the cryptocurrency markets from giving Russia an outlet, both for government and private transactions inside and outside the country. . . Russia.”
The US Treasury Department is also targeting digital assets as part of its broader sanctions against the Russian government.