Binance denies sharing data on Russian opponent Alexei Navalny with Russian agencies controlled by the FSB (The Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation). According to Reuters, in April 2021, the Russian financial intelligence unit met in Moscow with the regional head of Binance. The Russians, Reuters indicates, wanted Binance to hand over customer data, including names and addresses, to help them fight crime. The news agency cites text messages that the company official sent to a business partner.
Binance, Russia and Alexei Navalny
Apparently, at the time, the FSB, known as Rosfinmonitoring, was looking to track millions of dollars worth of bitcoin raised by Navalny. The opponent’s name had been added by Rosfinmonitoring that same month to a list of terrorist organizations. Navalny said the donations were used to finance actions that would help expose corruption within the Russian government.
In its statement, Binance explains that before the war, its engagement in Russia was no different than any other international organization. Like any other blockchain company operating in Russia, before the War with Ukraine, Binance was actively pushing for Russia to develop an effective crypto regulatory framework, Binance notes. An effort that we are making in all the markets in which we operate.
Binance trading volume in Russia grows
Binance legal representatives told Reuters that “engagement with the Russian government has now stopped due to the conflict.” On Thursday, Reuters reports, Binance told its users that it was limiting services for major clients in Russia, due to the latest European Union sanctions against Moscow.
Reuters reports that Binance trading volumes in Russia have increased since the war began. The news agency cites data from a major industry research firm. The increase is due to the Russians turning to cryptocurrencies to protect their assets from Western sanctions and the devaluation of the ruble.