This financial information exchange system is an essential cog in the wheel of global finance. The exclusion of several banks is part of a new set of financial sanctions.
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The measure was presented as a sledgehammer against Russia. Western countries agreed on Saturday February 26 to adopt new financial sanctions against Moscow after the invasion of Ukraine. Among them, the exclusion of many Russian banks from the Swift interbank platform, an essential cog in global finance. This was announced by the spokesperson for the German government, whose country currently chairs the G7 forum. These measures have been taken by the United States, France, Germany, Great Britain, Canada, Italy and the European Commission.
In a press point, the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, returned to these measures. “We are committed to cutting off a number of Russian banks from Swift, which will lead to their disconnection from the international financial system”she detailed, referring to a “significant turn of the screw” for “weakening Putin’s ability to finance his war machine”. With the exclusion of Swift, Russian banks will no longer be able “perform most of their global financial transactions”. “Ptherefore, Russian imports and exports will be blocked”she explained.
In coordination with I will now propose new measures to EU leaders to strengthen our response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and cripple Putin’s ability to finance his war machine. https://t.co/iU2waDzo9s
—Ursula von der Leyen (@vonderleyen) February 26, 2022
Ursula von der Leyen also announced that Brussels was going to offer EU countries “crippling the assets of the Russian central bank”. “We will prevent Putin from using his war chest”said the President of the Commission.