22:23 EU decided to pull some Russian banks out of SWIFT –

A number of Russian banks are being removed from the international payment system SWIFT. The President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, said on Saturday evening that the EU has decided with the US, UK and Canada.

With this decision, the EU and its allies want to shoot Russia out of the “war chest”. Japan joined the decision on Sunday. The Russian central bank is under attack, as are oligarchs and other members of the Russian elite.

Disconnecting Russian banks from messaging, which is crucial for payments, is seen as a very severe sanction. While EU countries like Germany and Italy have shown no interest so far, they have changed their minds in recent hours. Not only Russia, but also Western economies could suffer significant negative consequences from the punitive measure.

Von der Leyen says the measure will affect “certain Russian banks”. Exclusion from SWIFT “will cause them to lose access to the global financial system and their ability to operate globally will be impaired.”

“Putin chose to destroy Ukraine, but whatever he does, he is destroying the future of his own country,” von der Leyen said.

Previously, a country was disconnected from SWIFT. Iran was hit hard by the measure in 2014.

Other sanctions applied

In addition to withdrawing some Russian banks from SWIFT, the EU will impose other sanctions:

  • Stricter measures will be imposed on the Russian central bank to prevent international reserves from being used to evade the effects of sanctions.
  • The sale of “golden passports” is restricted. The people who made war possible in Ukraine will therefore no longer be able to buy European citizenship. Rich Russians with ties to the Russian government can no longer gain access to the EU’s financial market in this way.
  • A transatlantic task force will be established next week to ensure effective enforcement of financial sanctions. This task force will track down and freeze the assets of sanctioned individuals. Part of this measure is that it will soon punish more members of the Russian elite with ties to the government.
  • Finally, there will be better alignment to prevent misinformation and other forms of hybrid warfare.

Source: NU