Views: 2 Author: Site Editor Publish Time: 2022-02-28 Origin: Site
The US, Britain, the EU and Canada have moved to block Russia’s access to the Swift international banking payment system.
In a statement issued by the White House, the countries said they condemned Putin’s war of choice and attacks on the sovereign nation and people of Ukraine.
There had been mounting pressure for greater sanctions as Vladimir Putin continues his assault on Ukraine.
The UK and Spain were early supporters of the move to lock Russia out of Swift, the main secure messaging system that banks use to make rapid and secure cross-border payments, but the US was initially lukewarm and Germany was also reluctant.
On Saturday, however, Annalena Baerbock, Germany’s foreign minister, said the country was working on a “targeted and functional restriction” on Swift. Hours later, the joint statement by western allies, including Germany, was released, with the European Commission president, Ursula von der Leyen, also announcing the measure.
Announcing the further sanctions she said that they would “commit to ensuring that a certain number of Russian banks are removed from Swift”. It is understood the final list of institutions is still being drawn up.
The Swift international payments system said it was preparing to implement the new measures in coming days. “We are engaging with European authorities to understand the details of the entities that will be subject to the new measures and we are preparing to comply upon legal instruction,” it said in a statement.
The statement from the White House said this would mean limiting “the sale of citizenship – so-called golden passports – that let wealthy Russians connected to the Russian government become citizens of our countries and gain access to our financial systems”.
The statement from the White House also said that a “transatlantic taskforce” will be launched in the coming week that will “ensure the effective implementation of our financial sanctions by identifying and freezing the assets of sanctioned individuals and companies that exist within our jurisdictions”.
The prime minister of Ukraine, Denys Shmyhal, posted on Twitter: “Thanks to our friends … for the commitment to remove several Russian banks from SWIFT” and for “the paralysis of the assets of the central bank of Russia”.