Binance Increases Sanction Compliance, Blocks Accounts Linked to Relatives of Kremlin Officials

The popular crypto exchange of Binance has increased its compliance to sanctions placed on prominent Russians and associates as part of measures by the EU and the United States to place pressure on President Putin to halt Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

According to a report by Bloomberg, Binance has shuttered several accounts linked to relatives of sanctioned senior Kremlin officials. The report explains that ‘Polina Kovaleva, the stepdaughter of Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, and Elizaveta Peskova, the daughter of President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov, were among those blocked over the past two months.’

Binance has also banned Kirill Malofeez, the son of Konstantin Malofeez, ‘a tycoon accused by the U.S. Treasury Department of being a key source of financing for Russians promoting separatism in Crimea.’

President Putin’s daughter was blocked on March 3rd when she tried to use the exchange through a third-party brokerage. Kovaleva’s account was shattered on March 24th, the same day the United Kingdom sanctioned her. Malofeez had his accounts blocked this week after being added to the U.S treasury sanction list on April 20th.

Chagri Poyraz, Binance’s global head of sanctions based in Vancouver, explained that the exchange continues to be proactive with sanctioned individuals. He explained:

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 is Against the War, not the People

Binance CEO, Changpeng Zhao, confirmed the blocking of the aforementioned trading accounts via Twitter. He also clarified that the exchange is ‘against the war, not the people.’

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