EU, UK, US, Canada to cut off some Russian banks from SWIFT

US, allies agree to block selected Russian banks from SWIFT system

A foreign exchange bureau in St Petersburg. Photo via EPA

Several Russian banks will be removed from the SWIFT banking system, the EU Commission chief said Sunday amid Russia’s attacks on Ukraine.

“We, the leaders of the United Kingdom, the European Commission, France, Germany, Italy, Canada, and the United States condemn Putin’s war of choice and attacks on the sovereign nation and people of Ukraine,” said a joint statement from those countries

EU Commission President Ursula Von der Leyen said she will propose new measures to EU leaders to “strengthen our response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.”

“First, we commit to ensuring that a certain number of Russian banks are removed from SWIFT,” she wrote on Twitter, adding it would “stop them from operating worldwide and effectively block Russian exports and imports.”

“Second, we will paralyse the assets of Russia’s central bank,” he said. “This will freeze its transactions.”

And it will make it impossible for the Central Bank to liquidate its assets.”

The Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication, or SWIFT, is a global messaging system that connects thousands of financial institutions. It is used to send and receive millions of financial messages and money transfer orders.

The EU also announced sanctions against Russia on Thursday, targeting among others Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and 351 members of the Duma for violating Ukraine’s territorial integrity.

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