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EU Bans 7 Russian Banks from Accessing SWIFT

The European Union has confirmed on Wednesday that it will exclude seven Russian commercial banks from accessing the international banking messaging system, SWIFT.

These blacklisted banks are Russia’s second-largest lender VTB, Bank Otkritie, Novikombank, Promsvyazbank, Bank Rossiya, Sovcombank, and VEB. Access to SWIFT for these seven banks will be terminated on March 12, giving them ten days to settle all pending SWIFT transactions.

“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,” European Commission’s President, Ursula von der Leyen said.

The list came days after the EU, the United States and Canada said that they will block SWIFT access of “selected Russian banks”, but did not specify any names then.

Self-Interests Have Been Upheld

However, Sberbank, which is Russia’s largest lender, and Gazprombank were not included in this sanctioned list as they process most of the payments for Russian oil and gas. The EU is the largest consumer of Russian petrochemicals, so restrictions on those banks would hurt the bloc itself.

SWIFT is considered to be the backbone of the international baking system. It has more than 11,000 members worldwide, out of which over 300 are big or small Russian financial institutions, according to some media estimates.
The ban from SWIFT is considered as the ultimate economic sanction that the western government collectively can impose on any country.

It has been imposed on Russian banks after several countries individually sanctioned many Russian financial institutions, companies and individuals.

“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,” von der Leyen added.

Meanwhile, the SWIFT sanctions on limited Russian banks also received some criticism from leaders within the EU. Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said that the exclusion of Sberbank and Gazprombank was unacceptable and wrote: “As Poland, we demand that all Russian entities, thanks to which Russia finances the war in Ukraine, be effectively and fully covered by sanctions.”

The European Union has confirmed on Wednesday that it will exclude seven Russian commercial banks from accessing the international banking messaging system, SWIFT.

These blacklisted banks are Russia’s second-largest lender VTB, Bank Otkritie, Novikombank, Promsvyazbank, Bank Rossiya, Sovcombank, and VEB. Access to SWIFT for these seven banks will be terminated on March 12, giving them ten days to settle all pending SWIFT transactions.

“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,” European Commission’s President, Ursula von der Leyen said.

The list came days after the EU, the United States and Canada said that they will block SWIFT access of “selected Russian banks”, but did not specify any names then.

Self-Interests Have Been Upheld

However, Sberbank, which is Russia’s largest lender, and Gazprombank were not included in this sanctioned list as they process most of the payments for Russian oil and gas. The EU is the largest consumer of Russian petrochemicals, so restrictions on those banks would hurt the bloc itself.

SWIFT is considered to be the backbone of the international baking system. It has more than 11,000 members worldwide, out of which over 300 are big or small Russian financial institutions, according to some media estimates.
The ban from SWIFT is considered as the ultimate economic sanction that the western government collectively can impose on any country.

It has been imposed on Russian banks after several countries individually sanctioned many Russian financial institutions, companies and individuals.

“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,” von der Leyen added.

Meanwhile, the SWIFT sanctions on limited Russian banks also received some criticism from leaders within the EU. Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said that the exclusion of Sberbank and Gazprombank was unacceptable and wrote: “As Poland, we demand that all Russian entities, thanks to which Russia finances the war in Ukraine, be effectively and fully covered by sanctions.”


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