Many of Russia’s largest banks have been denied access to the SWIFT network, save for certain energy-related payment activities. There have also been a number of other restrictions placed on Russia’s ability to move funds around by key members of the G20. In response, Russia legalized cross-border payments with cryptocurrencies.
According to a recent article at Cointelegraph, European Union (EU) regulators have pushed back by completely banning members from receiving cryptocurrency payments from Russia.
The EU and United States have been very active in the Russia sanctions area, given the ongoing conflict with Ukraine and subsequent steps taken by Russia to annex regions of Ukraine. We commented earlier in PaymentsJournal on some of the payments ‘workarounds’ being utilized by Russians, including the use of CBDCs with China. I expect that the real impact of the sanctions has not been felt yet, and that the brunt of the sanctions will be felt by the Russian people.
Overview by Steve Murphy, Director, Commercial and Enterprise Payments Advisory Service at Mercator Advisory Group.