On 2 March, the European Union agreed to exclude key Russian banks from the SWIFT system, the world’s dominant financial messaging system used to make cross-border payments.
This measure will stop these banks from conducting their financial transactions worldwide in a fast and efficient manner. Today’s decision has been closely coordinated with the EU’s international partners, such as the United States and the United Kingdom.
“At the speed of light, the European Union has adopted three waves of heavy sanctions against Russia’s financial system, its high-tech industries and its corrupt elite. This is the largest sanctions package in our Union’s history. Today’s decision to disconnect key Russian banks from the SWIFT network will send yet another very clear signal to Putin and the Kremlin,” said President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen.
The list of banks affected has been published in the Official Journal. They are:
The measure will take effect within 10 days. This will give SWIFT and other operators a brief transition period to implement the measure, thereby mitigating any possible negative impacts for EU businesses and financial markets. Depending on Russia’s behaviour, the Commission is prepared to add further Russian banks at short notice.
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