21 Oct 2022 · 2 min read

Russian Regulator: Crypto Sanctions Are a Form of Digital Fascism

Source: Miha Creative/Adobe

One of Russia’s top regulators thinks that the crypto-related sanctions that have been imposed on the country and its citizens are a type of “digital fascism.”

The comments come in the wake of the European Union’s latest package of sanctions on Russia, which includes a total ban on all Russian cross-border crypto payments to the EU. The EU had previously sought to place limits on the worth of crypto transactions made to Russian crypto wallets, but earlier this month stated that it wanted to go a step further.

But, Ivestia reported, Rosfinmonitoring, an anti money-laundering regulator founded by President Vladimir Putin, has hit out at the sanctions. As well as calling them an example of “digital fascism,” Herman Negliad, the nation’s Secretary of State and the Deputy Director of Rosfinmonitoring, told a legal forum on October 20 that Russia would “bypass” the EU’s crypto-related sanctions.

Negliad added that the government would “provide businesses with the ability to carry out cross-border settlements.” He added that Moscow was ready to help traders, and would “provide” them with “assistance” that makes use of “cryptocurrencies, the digital ruble, or a hybrid of these forms [of payment].”

Russian Government Thinks Nation Can Dodge Crypto Sanctions

The Ministry of Finance has also commented on the matter, stating that it did not think any Russian crypto wallets would be threatened by the latest EU move. The ministry has previously claimed that crypto has a role to play in international trade.

The nation is thought to be fast-tracking its central bank digital currency rollout in direct response to Western sanctions, and the finance ministry and the Central Bank have indicated that trading firms are effectively free to conduct their business in crypto if necessary.

Even prior to the conflict with Ukraine, Moscow officials were speaking openly about the need to purge the Russian economy of its reliance on the USD – and spoke of the forthcoming digital ruble’s role in this effort.

Anatoly Aksakov, the Chairman of the State Duma’s Committee on Financial Markets and the architect of Russia’s crypto-related legislation, also poured scorn on the latest EU crypto-related sanctions.

Aksakov was quoted as stating, at the same forum:

“Blockchain technology is difficult [for states] to control. It is difficult to identify the origin of participants on a blockchain network. And many users will be able to circumvent sanctions.”