(PresidentialHill.com)- Christopher Wray, the director of the FBI, said on Thursday that the Russians “highly overestimated” their ability to circumnavigate international economic sanctions levied against them by using cryptocurrency.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has been preparing for sanctions for almost the last ten years, building a so-called “fortress economy” designed to withstand financial and banking sanctions against them. But it’s not working.
Speaking on Thursday, Wray said that there have already been several “very significant seizures” of cryptocurrency owned by Russia since his invasion of Ukraine began last month. Russia is also unable to access much of its foreign-currency cash reserves, with the United States and Europe placing sanctions on the country blocking it from accessing those assets.
“The Russians’ ability to circumvent the sanctions with cryptocurrency is probably highly overestimated on the part of maybe them and others,” Wray said in a hearing before the Senate Intelligence Committee last week.
“We are, as a community and with our partners overseas, far more effective on that than I think sometimes they appreciate,” he added.
He said that there is significant expertise in the FBI and that the seizures have already proven the vulnerability of using cryptocurrency to avoid sanctions.
In other words, Putin is out of luck. Sooner or later, he’ll need to end this war or face total economic ruin.