Four U.S. senators are introducing a bill to impose sanctions on Russia’s gold. “This legislation would prevent the purchase of Russian gold and close this loophole, which allows the Russian Federation to mitigate the financial impact of sanctions,” the senators explained. “By sanctifying these reserves, we can further isolate Russia from the world economy and increase the difficulty of Putin’s increasingly costly military campaign.”
U.S. lawmakers seek to sanction Russia’s gold
U.S. Senators John Cornyn (R-TX), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Bill Hagerty (R-TN) and Angus King (I-ME) on Tuesday announced the introduction of the “Stop Russian government and oligarchs from restricting democracy” . Stop Russian GOLD) Act. “
“Free world sanctions are ruining Russia’s economy – and as long as Putin continues his terrible invasion, we must keep up the pressure,” Senator King tweeted. He added that he had joined senators Cornyn, Hassan and Hagerty “to introduce sanctions on Russia’s gold reserves”.
In the following tweet, he explained:
Russia’s gold supply is one of the few remaining assets that Putin can use to support his country’s economy. By sanctifying those reservations, we can further isolate Russia from the world economy and increase the difficulty of Putin’s increasingly costly military campaign.
Senator Cornyn described: “Russia has taken a page out of Venezuela’s book by exploiting a loophole in current sanctions that allow them to launder money by buying and selling gold.”
The senator’s announcement explains that “The Russian Federation buys gold to compensate for the devaluation of its currency, the ruble, and then sells that gold on international markets in exchange for precious currency.”
The bill “would apply secondary sanctions to anyone who treats or transports gold from the assets of Russia’s central bank or sells gold physically or electronically in Russia,” the announcement added, adding:
The secondary sanctions in this legislation would prevent the purchase of Russian gold and close this loophole, which allows the Russian Federation to mitigate the financial impact of sanctions.
Senator Hagerty said: “These bipartisan secondary sanctions on Russia’s gold transactions will build on the recent Russian sanctions by the Biden administration and further stifle Russia’s capital economy.”
Meanwhile, some senators are wary of Russia avoiding sanctions using cryptocurrency, including Senator Elizabeth Warren.
The G7 countries and the European Union have already said they are taking steps to prevent cryptocurrencies from being used to avoid sanctions. In addition, the U.S. Treasury said it is monitoring crypto activities to prevent sanctions.
However, some experts have said that cryptocurrency is not an effective tool to avoid sanctions for Russia, including the CEO of cryptocurrency exchanges Coinbase and Binance.
Carol House, the director of cybersecurity at the National Security Council, agreed. She said: “The scale that the Russian state would need to successfully avoid all financial sanctions by the United States and its partners would almost certainly make cryptocurrency an ineffective primary tool for the state.”
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