Switzerland will freeze all digital assets held within its borders by Russian businesses and individuals sanctioned by NATO allies, the government has announced.
The country will comply with the European Union’s (EU’s) sanctions and add its own strictures on Russian crypto holdings, officials said.
“As of today, all four EU sanctions packages have been adopted and implemented,” finance minister Guy Parmelin said on 5 March.
Since 28 February, 223 Russians, including “oligarchs and close Putin confidantes” have had their bank accounts and other assets found and frozen, Parmelin added.
Crypto has been included in the actions to “protect the integrity” of digital currencies, which are widely seen as having the potential to launder money and hide criminal transactions.
Switzerland has become a global center for crypto trading and storage.
“If someone holds their crypto key themselves, then it’s going to be virtually impossible to identify them,” a senior finance ministry official told the Financial Times, “but if they’re using crypto services—funds, exchanges, and so on—these service points we can target.”
Meanwhile, the Czech National Bank announced it will intervene to shore up the value of the koruna, the national currency, which has slipped 6 percent since the beginning of February.
Many currencies in central Europe have slipped in value since Russia invaded Ukraine.