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Digital currency exchange Binance has halted accepting cards of Russian banks that are under sanctions following the country’s invasion of Ukraine, reported Reuters.  

The firm also barred access to individuals, who were sanctioned by the US and European countries.

However, in a recent interview to BBC, Binance founder and CEO Changpeng Zhao said that the platform would not restrict service to ordinary Russians.

Zhao was quoted as saying: “We’re not against any people. We differentiate between the Russian politicians who start wars and the normal people. Many normal Russians do not agree with war.”

He added that restricting access would only result in Russian users moving to other smaller platforms.

Binance is taking necessary steps required to comply with the sanctions ‘while minimising the impact to innocent users’, the report said.

The news comes as many crypto exchanges hold back from complying with sanctions, as opposed to other financial institutions that were quick to act on cutting ties with Russia.

Canadian exchange Coinberry, US-based Kraken Exchange, Coinbase, KuCoin are among the major crypto exchanges that held back on the Russian user ban, according to a Vice report.

Last week, Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minster Mykhailo Fedorov urged major crypto exchanges to block Russian users on their platforms.

Fedorov said in a Tweet that it is ‘crucial to freeze not only the addresses linked to Russian and Belarusian politicians, but also to sabotage ordinary users.’