Lithuania and UK urge EU to remove all Russian banks from SWIFT –

Lithuania and UK urge EU to remove all Russian banks from SWIFT –

Lithuanian and British foreign ministers demanded that all Russian banks be removed from the international payment system SWIFT, after meeting in Vilnius on Thursday. At the moment seven banks do not have access to the system, but countries want the EU to go further.

Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis and his British counterpart, Liz Truss, met on Thursday in the Lithuanian capital Vilnius. Sanctions against Russia for the invasion of Ukraine were also discussed there.

After the meeting, the two ministers said at a press conference that they felt the EU did not go far enough in its sanctions. “We must do everything we can to ensure that Russian banks no longer have access to SWIFT,” Truss said. said. Landsbergis added that cutting gas supplies from Russia to Europe should not be taboo.

SWIFT handles all international payment transactions

SWIFT is a system that organizes international payments between banks in different countries. It is not a payment system, it provides communication between banks. You can best compare it to WhatsApp, but with standard encrypted messages.

It works on a small scale, for example when we buy something from an American online store, but all international payments between countries are also handled through this system.

So if banks are disconnected from this, much international payment traffic comes to a standstill. There are alternatives, but they are still in their infancy and are much more complex than SWIFT.

Stopping gas imports is the last option for the EU, as such an action would also seriously damage our economy. For example, Germany depends on Russia for more than half of its gas supply. The Netherlands gets 20 percent of its gas from Russia.

Source: NU