On March 2, European Commission officials commented in response to questions from Reuters on the observed increase in the volume of transactions between the ruble and some cryptocurrencies, when, just the day before, the amount had tripled to $ 140 million. It may not be a lot of money, and it may be about private money, but the noise was enough to raise the issue of the risk of circumventing sanctions through, in this case, cryptocurrencies. This concern about the possible existence of a “back door” to circumvent any restrictions imposed institutionally by the EU, the US, and others on the occasion of the Russian military advance on Ukraine has certainly been exacerbated by the reluctance of some cryptocurrencies to ban rubles, although affected platforms such as Binance have said they will not close all of Russia but will block those covered by sanctions.
But why are we interested in the above development? We are interested because it is just one example, out of the many for all areas of sanctions, that will be attempted to bypass them. It is well known, and proven by previous sanctions regimes, that they exist, and if they do not exist then ways of circumventing them or even managing them are invented, with the corresponding economic, political and legal risk of course. There are always willing bankers, lawyers, accountants, but also government and political officials and other mediators in many different countries who, with the right amount of money and dressed, even a fake, and seemingly convenient, ideological cloak for everyone. types of sanctions. Such a risk is managed by all countries.
But the risk increases for those countries that are proven to have a close relationship with any country in which sanctions are imposed. Even more so, the risk increases when one country not only has relations with another that is subject to sanctions, but is also extremely “prone” to all kinds of “misguidance”… due to insecure psychosynthesis and mentality, institutional weakness and political backwardness Or to put it bluntly. And, whether we like it or not, Cyprus is such a country. And as such it was found, well before some sanctions were decided, such as, e.g. those concerning SWIFT, in an apologetic position trying to explain that… he is not an elephant, after the relevant statements of the competent Ukrainian minister. Unfortunately, we're in that position because we've been elephants in the past.
For & # 8217; this time, no matter how much pain and pressure, economic, political, diplomatic or even ideological, and if what happens to us causes us to stand where we need to be. This is not the time for gossip and opportunism. This is not the time to resell our souls for thirty pieces of silver, no matter how much someone inside and outside tries to lure or blackmail us, with their influence and money, to once again benefit the short-term petty interests of five to ten people. at the expense, again, of the reputation and dignity of an entire country.
On the contrary, this is the time to do what we must, best of all, because it is our chance to build credibility. It is our opportunity to gain political capital and prestige. It is our opportunity to look at ourselves with dignity and our partners in Brussels and elsewhere with a clear outlook and confidence. And then redeem all this where and when we need it. It's our chance, let's not miss it…