Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is imploring cryptocurrency exchanges to deny access to Russian users as part of the United States’ broader effort to apply economic pressure after Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.
In an interview with MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow, Clinton says she disagrees with the crypto exchanges which have not gone along with the US’s recently imposed sanctions against Russia.
“I was disappointed to see that some of the so-called crypto exchanges, not all of them, but some of them, are refusing to end transactions with Russia from some… philosophy of libertarianism or whatever.
Everybody – and if there has to be legal or regulatory pressure – everybody should do as much as possible to isolate Russian economic activity right now.
That pressure will absolutely impact Putin.”
The former New York senator next discusses how governments might approach crypto regulation as part of a broader push to ensure national security.
“I think they’re starting to take seriously the need to figure out the market and to provide guardrails, as you definitely should with any kind of large financial market like this has become.
I think in the specific case of Ukraine, I do think that the Treasury Department, I think the Europeans should look hard at how they can prevent the crypto markets from giving an escape hatch to Russia, both governmental and private transactions in and out of Russia.”
Clinton concludes by saying that the strong implementation of economic sanctions is a crucial aspect of hastening an end to the Russia-Ukraine conflict.
“It’s really in the interest of everyone who wants to do legitimate business to try to end this conflict as quickly as possible. And one of the two pillars that we can rely on right now is the economic pillar.
I would hope somebody at the Treasury Department is trying to figure out how they’re going to rein in the leaky valves in the crypto market that might allow Russia to escape the full weight of the sanctions.”
Clinton’s comments dovetail with the U.S. Treasury Department issuing a new rule to stop the flow of funds that aim to circumvent sanctions against Russia.
Regarding digital assets the rule says,
“All property and interests in property that are in the United States, that hereafter come within the United States… are blocked and may not be transferred, paid, exported, withdrawn…
Any person determined by the Secretary of the Treasury… to be responsible for or complicit… on behalf of… the Government of the Russian Federation… [engaged in] deceptive or structured transactions or dealings to circumvent any United States sanctions, including through the use of digital currencies or assets or the use of physical assets.”
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