UK Prime Minister wants Russia kicked out of SWIFT
On Thursday, February 24, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson lobbied “very hard” to remove Russia from the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications (SWIFT) international payments system, which would severely limit Russia’s ability to trade internationally. outside the country, the Financial Times reported.
While Johnson wants Russia removed from SWIFT – a politically neutral financial messaging network – he told his ministers it was “vital that we have unity” on the issue, according to the report.
Germany and the European Union are more reluctant to block Russia from SWIFT, according to the report.
Dmytro Kuleba, Ukraine’s Foreign Minister, tweeted on Thursday: “Anyone who now doubts that Russia should be banned from SWIFT must understand that the blood of innocent Ukrainian men, women and children will also be on their hands. “
I will not be diplomatic about this. Anyone who now doubts that Russia should be banned from SWIFT must understand that the blood of innocent Ukrainian men, women and children will also be on their hands. BAN RUSSIA FROM SWIFT.
— Dmytro Kuleba (@DmytroKuleba) February 24, 2022
Johnson has faced criticism in the UK for deploying what critics described as “pistol” sanctions in response to the first stage of Russian aggression in Ukraine, according to the FT report. Canada would also support blocking Russian SWIFT access. The United States said it was too early to consider Russia’s withdrawal.
“The sanctions that have been imposed on all their banks have the same consequences, perhaps more than SWIFT,” said US President Joe Biden. “It’s always an option, but at the moment it’s not the position the rest of Europe wants to take.”
Related: US and Europe impose sanctions on Russia, but full SWIFT ban not yet likely
Belgium-based SWIFT is governed by European law, but the United States can still impose sanctions on SWIFT through a series of maneuvers that would create pressure to cut off Russia.
The US has said it will ban US financial institutions from processing transactions for some of Russia’s biggest banks, including VTB Bank, Sberbank, VEB and Gazprombank.