Binance has stepped up its measure in compliance with sanctions against senior Russian officials and their direct relatives by terminating several accounts linked to the top officials responsible for the war against Ukraine. Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao (CZ) restated the importance of implementing such legal obligations to live up to the company’s commitments.
Binance Takes a Proactive Stance on Targeted Accounts
Binance shut down the account by Elizaveta Peskova, the daughter of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov, as early as March 3rd – over a week sooner than the US authorities included the 24-year-old as part of the “Kremlin elites” subject to a new series of sanctions. Peskova subsequently claimed innocence, saying she got nothing to do with the situation.
The list of Russian individuals being blocked from accessing Binance’s services includes Polina Kovaleva, the stepdaughter of Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, and Kirill Malofeyev, the son of Konstantin Malofeyev, a Russian oligarch who has been sanctioned by the US, EU, and Canada since 2014. CZ tweeted “against war, not the people,” commenting on the company’s proactive move of terminating Peskova’s account.
Binance’s global head of sanctions, Chagri Poyraz, has expressed his support for such a move taken by Binance to further prevent sanctioned entities and individuals from accessing its platform. According to Bloomberg’s reportage, he noted that the company had strengthened its arm for monitoring people associated with sanctioned subjects.
“What’s different is that our compliance screen operations are ‘proactive,’ aiming to detect and deter financial crime risk before any regulatory or legal action towards these individuals or entities.”
Binance in Compliance with Legal Requirements
As the largest crypto exchange by trading volume, Binance’s latest action against accounts tied to Kremlin’s top officials has demonstrated that major centralized platforms are acting in compliance with legal requirements imposed by governments.
To be in line with the fifth wave of sanctions introduced by the European Union toward Russia, Binance made changes to its policy a week ago. The company limited services for “Russian nationals or natural persons residing in Russia, or legal entities established in Russia, that have crypto assets exceeding the value of 10,000 EUR.” People subject to the restriction will need to complete proof-of-address verification.