Treasury Warns That Putin Could Use Cryptos to Dodge Sanctions

Crypto Heist
Crypto Heist

Russian President Vladimir Putin could rely on cryptocurrencies to evade the U.S. and other sanctions launched against the Kremlin for its invasion of Ukraine; a Treasury official told lawmakers Tuesday.

“Yes, senator, that’s possible,” Elizabeth Rosenberg, Treasury’s assistant secretary for Terrorist Financing and Financial Crimes, said when Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., asked her if digital assets could be used to skirt sanctions.

The Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs assembled the hearing to discuss Russia’s continued war on Ukraine, such as the seizure of assets from Russian oligarchs and the G-7 call to cap the price of Russian oil.

Warren said she’d worried that Russian elites use cryptocurrencies Russian to dodge sanctions since the country invaded Ukraine in February.

“Back then we already knew that countries like North Korea had used crypto to skirt sanctions and launder at least hundreds of millions of dollars. And Russia could easily be part of that,” Warren said.