ECB president calls for crypto regulation in response to Russia’s possible sanctions evasion

Christine Lagarde, president of the European Central Bank (ECB), has called on lawmakers to approve a regulatory framework for crypto, hinting that Russia may be able to prevent economic sanctions evasion.

Speaking to reporters at an informal meeting of economy and finance ministers on Friday, Lagarde said the European Central Bank would “decisively and rigorously” implement sanctions imposed on Russia by European lawmakers in response to the country’s invasion of Ukraine. In response to a question about Russia possibly using crypto to circumvent some of these measures, the ECB president pushed for action against an existing proposal for a regulatory framework for digital assets.

“If there is a ban or ban or mechanism to boycott or ban, there are always criminal ways to get around the ban or ban,” Lagarde said. “It is so important that MiCA is implemented as soon as possible so that we have a regulatory framework within which crypto assets can actually be captured.”

The President of the European Central Bank, Christine Lagarde. Source: YouTube

The MiCA, or crypto asset markets, suggested creating “a regulatory framework for the crypto asset market that supports innovation and leverages the potential of crypto assets in a way that maintains financial stability and protects investors.” The proposal was first introduced to the European Commission in September 2020 and adopted by the European Council in November 2021. The proposal was scheduled for a vote to be conducted by the European Parliament on Monday.

However, reporter Stefan Berge announced on Friday that he had postponed the vote for fear it would be misinterpreted as a ban on proof-of-work crypto mining. At the time of publication, there is no scheduled date for EU officials to vote on the framework.

US President Joe Biden announced a series of sanctions on Thursday aimed at imposing “devastating charges” on Russia over the country’s attack on Ukraine. The president announced that the United States and its allies would impose sanctions on five major Russia-based banks and several elite nationals who “have enriched themselves at the expense of the Russian state.” The economic measures do not include shutting down Russia from the SWIFT payment system or crypto transfers.

Related: Crypto Community Responds to Russia’s War in Ukraine

The situation in Ukraine is still evolving, but since Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a “special military operation” on Thursday, there have been reports of Russian bombing campaigns across the country, including a military airport near the capital Kiev. Members of the crypto community have offered donations to the Ukrainian military and local organizations as the crisis unfolds.

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