US Shutters Embassy in Belarus Amid Russia-Ukraine Peace Talks

As with mainstream financial markets, cryptocurrency has felt the ripples of the hostilities in Eastern Europe.

Feb 28, 2022 at 11:06 a.m. UTC
Updated Feb 28, 2022 at 5:06 p.m. UTC

Jamie Crawley is a CoinDesk news reporter based in London.

The U.S. closed the gates to its embassy in Minsk, Belarus, as peace talks between delegates from Russia and Ukraine commenced in Belarus on Monday.

  • U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced the suspension of operations at the Minsk embassy and authorized staff to depart from Moscow, the Associated Press reported, citing a statement from the U.S. State Department.
  • The embassy closure comes as the world looked toward the peace talks in Belarus and the financial markets sought signs of a possible end to the conflict.
  • Reuters reported on Monday that the talks had ended by 16:30 UTC and officials would now return to their respective capitals for further consultations before a second round of negotiations, citing the RIA news agency which quoted Ukrainian presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak.
  • Since Russia's invasion of Ukraine last week, Russia has been hit with economic sanctions that have now seen the ruble tumble as much as 29%, leading to the Russian central bank raising its main interest rate to 20% on Monday.
  • As with mainstream financial markets, cryptocurrency has felt the ripples of the hostilities in Eastern Europe, with bitcoin falling to a low of $34,636 last Thursday, a drop of more than 11% from the previous day.
  • There has yet to be any significant movement in the crypto markets following news of talks commencing between the two countries.

UPDATE (Feb. 28, 13:22 UTC): Adds embassy closure information in lead, headline and first bullet. Adds contextual second bullet.

UPDATE (Feb. 28, 17:06 UTC): Adds news that the peace talks have ended in third bullet point.


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Jamie Crawley is a CoinDesk news reporter based in London.

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Jamie Crawley is a CoinDesk news reporter based in London.

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