US, EU commit to remove Russia from SWIFT network

Many member states are expressing support for the imposition of restrictions on Russia’s access to the international banking system using SWIFT network.

The European Union has been “determined” to isolate Russia from the international financial system, including by blocking some banks from the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT), the network that underpins it. platform for global financial transactions.

Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT)
Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT)

By blocking Russia from SWIFT network, the European Union will block Russian institutions from conducting any interbank transactions with non-Russian entities, cutting it off from the global financial system. The move comes days after Russian military forces launched attacks on several cities and military bases in Ukraine, including the country’s capital, Kiev.

Italy, Hungary and Cyprus initially opposed the move, but expressed support on Friday and Saturday. Meanwhile, Germany favors “targeted and functional” restrictions on Russia.

The European Commission formalized the move late Saturday in a public statement issued by the EC, France, Germany, Italy, Britain, Canada and the United States.

We are committed to ensuring that selected Russian banks are removed from the SWIFT system. This will ensure that these banks are disconnected from the international financial system and harm their ability to operate globally,” the statement said.

The EC is also committed to preventing the Central Bank of Russia from using its international reserves and preventing Russian oligarchs from buying passports in other countries to re-enter the global financial system.

EC officials also plan to launch a “transatlantic task force” to implement sanctions issued by the EU, US, UK, Japan, Canada, South Korea and several other groups. “by identifying and freezing the assets of sanctioned individuals and companies that exist in our jurisdictions,” the statement said.

Since SWIFT network is based in Belgium, support across the EU is crucial for deporting any country, such as Russia.

Meanwhile, US President Joe Biden is considering publicly supporting the decision to exclude Russia from SWIFT network.