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Sanctioned Russian banker offloads $19m in Copper shares

sanctioned-russian-banker-offloads-19m-in-copper-shares
Edited by
News
Sanctioned Russian banker offloads $19m in Copper shares

A sanctioned Russian banker sold $19m worth of shares in Copper, a crypto custodian linked to ex-U.K. Chancellor Philip Hammond.

As reported by The Guardian, Russian-sanctioned banker Mikhail Klyukin has sold over £15 million (around $19 million) worth of shares in Copper Technologies, a cryptocurrency custodian that named former U.K. Chancellor Philip Hammond as its chair in early 2023.

According to the report, the transaction was orchestrated by the London-headquartered firm to address concerns after Mikhail Klyukin — who owns over 2% of the company — was placed on the U.S. sanctions list in March 2022. As of press time, Copper has made no public statements on the matter. In a commentary to The Guardian, a spokesperson for Copper said the firm “had complied with applicable sanctions law at all times, based on external legal advice.”

Acting as an intermediary, Copper is understood to have converted the payment for Klyukin’s shares into crypto. While legal experts speculate on potential risks, considering the use of crypto, the sale is said to have avoided breaching U.S. sanctions.

Klyukin faced sanctions due to his position on the supervisory board of Russia’s third-largest lender, Sovcombank, part of the U.S. initiative targeting individuals associated with Vladimir Putin’s inner circle.

Founded in 2018 by Dmitry Tokarev, Copper provides services to companies looking to invest in, trade, or use crypto. In March 2022, Tokarev issued a public statement on Copper’s website, condemning the Kremlin’s military offensive against Ukraine, adding that “the Russian government does not speak for every Russian. They do not even speak for the majority of them.”