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28 Feb 2022

US Allies Ban Russia from the SWIFT International Payments System

The Index Today

The Western nations, including the United States and its allies, have imposed fresh sanctions on Russia including debarring it from the SWIFT international payments system. This comes as a retaliation following the Kremlin’s unrelenting full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

The Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) is a highly secure fiscal system that ensures seamless cross-border payments and trade on the international sphere. By banning Russia from the SWIFT system, the West seeks to stop President Vladimir Putin from accessing $630 billion in central bank foreign currency reserves to fund its ongoing war against Ukraine. This will also make it increasingly difficult for Russian companies to transact business from now on.

The leaders of the United States, Canada, Great Britain, Germany, France, and the European Commission said in a note, “We will hold Russia to account and collectively ensure that this war is a strategic failure for Putin.” They also revealed that they are “prepared to take further measures” against the Kremlin.

Although it remains unknown as to which Russian banks will be exempted from the SWIFT, an EU official contends that the move, which is set to come into effect in the next few days, will negatively impact 70% of the country’s banking system.

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