Home Europe Western leaders agree new Russia sanctions, including SWIFT curbs

Western leaders agree new Russia sanctions, including SWIFT curbs

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Western leaders agreed Saturday to impose more financial sanctions on Russia for its invasion of Ukraine, including removing “selected Russian banks” from the SWIFT international payments system.

In a joint statement, leaders of the United States, the European Commission, France, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom and Canada vowed to “hold Russia to account and collectively ensure that this war is a strategic failure” for Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“As Russian forces unleash their assault on Kyiv and other Ukrainian cities, we are resolved to continue imposing costs on Russia that will further isolate Russia from the international financial system and our economies,” they added.

“We commit to ensuring that selected Russian banks are removed from the SWIFT messaging system. This will ensure that these banks are disconnected from the international financial system and harm their ability to operate globally,” the leaders said.

In a separate statement, the German government said the measure would apply to “Russian banks that are already sanctioned by the international community and, where necessary, additional Russian banks.”

The Ukrainian government has repeatedly demanded that Russia be excluded from SWIFT but some countries, including Germany, had been reluctant to take that step.

In their statement, the Western leaders also agreed to “restrictive measures that will prevent the Russian Central Bank from deploying its international reserves in ways that undermine the impact of our sanctions.”

In addition, they said they would crack down on the sale of so-called “golden passports” to wealthy Russians linked to the Russian government, launch a transatlantic task force on the implementation of financial sanctions and boost coordination against disinformation.

Hans von der Burchard contributed reporting.

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