Belarus Plans to Employ Cryptocurrencies against EU Sanctions

Amidst the protests in Belarus, officials doubt if cryptocurrencies could dispense with potential U.S. and European Union (EU) sanctions.

By · Aug 16, 2020 . 6min read

On Aug 9, Alexander Lukashenko commemorated the victory against opposition leader Svetlana Tikhanovskaya. The rage of protests in Belarus accompanied the results of the elections. The officials of Belarus claimed that the results were false. However, amidst the protests, questions are now arising as to how Belarus could dispense with potential U.S. and European Union sanctions. Additionally, how cryptocurrencies could help surpass this U.S. and EU sanctions in Belarus.

Recently, EU countries revealed the possible sanctions over the brutal post-election crackdown in Belarus. EU Foreign ministers decided to take stringent measures against people who are responsible for violence in Belarus. The EU elevated maximum sanctions on Belarus in 2016. Now, it is expected to look towards exacting travel bans and asset freezes on officials. Additionally, it will also limit people implicated in ballot equipment or human rights violations.

Cryptocurrencies to Help Surpass EU Sanctions

According to an article published by Russian outlet, RBC, cryptocurrencies are not a viable option to overcome financial sanctions against Belarus. Using crypto is “a realistic option” to avoid sanctions, stated Valery Petrov, Vice President of Market Development and Regulation for the Russian Association, in the article. Nevertheless, he illuminates, this is conceivable only “if it does not contradict external and internal legislation.”

Earlier, it was revealed that Belarus’s state authority aspires lawmakers to allow them to seize cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin from criminals. The Investigative Committee of the Republic of Belarus is purportedly preparing to back a legal initiative that would enable them to confiscate cryptocurrency from illicit activities.

Belarus has proved to have a progressive attitude towards cryptocurrencies. The country always considered cryptocurrency as one of the potential factors to expand and grow across the globe. Additionally, Belarusian authorities stated that they recognize digital technology as a top priority issue and develop a digital economy resolution for the OSCE session in Berlin.

Nonetheless, protests raging in Belarus over the president’s re-election, EU and U.S. planning to implement financial sanctions the country seems to be in trouble. Using cryptocurrency as a source to beat economic sanctions appears to be the only realistic option left with Belarus. However, officials state that it might not be a safe option. Citizens of Belarus await what would be the next step in this political situation.

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