Putin issues orders to combat ‘illegal cross-border transfers’ of digital assets

Russian President Vladimir Putin has stressed the importance of developing additional measures to combat illegal cross-border transactions in digital financial assets.

At a meeting of the board of the Prosecutor General’s Office on Wednesday, Putin said criminal elements are increasingly using digital financial assets, which requires special attention from the government.

There is another point – entirely new, but important: We need to take additional measures to curb illegal cross-border movement of digital financial assets, Putin said. The President has asked local law enforcement and the Federal Financial Supervisory Service (Rosfinmonitoring) to give this matter their full attention.

Since Mr. Putin did not specify the context of illegal cross-border transactions involving digital assets, it now seems difficult to know exactly what he meant by violations. Nikita Soshnikov, former senior partner at Deloitte CIS and director of Alfakash, told Cointelegraph:

This is not the first time the president has asked Russian law enforcement and financial intelligence agencies to pay special attention to cryptocurrency operations in such a negative context. However, it is not clear what is meant by cross-border cryptographic transactions of a global nature and how law enforcement measures can be applied.

In January 2020, Russia enacted a major law on digital financial assets that officially bans payments in cryptocurrencies like bitcoin in the country. The Russian government is also working on separate initiatives to impose restrictions on foreign payment services and digital wallets such as AliPay and WeChat.

Putin’s recent comments on illegal cross-border transactions involving digital assets come against the backdrop of intensified relations between Russia and the United States.

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