Ukraine’s foreign minister stated on Thursday that his country is urging other nations around the world to ban Russia from the SWIFT global interbank payments system, which is one of the biggest and most severe non-military sanctions the West could possibly impose — in order to punish Moscow for sending troops into Ukraine.
“European Union leaders will impose new sanctions on Russia, freezing its assets, halting its banks’ access to European financial markets and targeting “Kremlin interests” over its invasion of Ukraine, senior officials said Thursday, but cutting Russia off from SWIFT is unlikely to happen at this stage,” Newsmax reported.
Here’s more from the report:
Meanwhile, the foreign ministers of the Baltic states, once ruled from Moscow but now members of NATO and the European Union, also called for an end to Russia’s access to the SWIFT payment system and to provide Ukraine with weapons and ammunition.
The international community should “impose the strongest possible sanctions on Russia, including disengaging Russia from SWIFT,” the three foreign ministers said in a joint statement.
If SWIFT were to exclude Russian banks, it would restrict the country’s access to financial markets across the world.
Companies and individuals would then have a more difficult time paying for imports and receiving cash for the country’s exports and to borrow or invest overseas.
Russian banks could then utilize other channels for their payment needs such as phones, messaging apps, or even email. This would allow the nation’s banks to make payments through banks in countries which do not have these kind of sanctions imposed.
However, since alternatives are much less sufficient and secure, the volume of transactions could fall and the cost of them go up.