Ukraine crisis: UK joins with EU and US to ban Russian banks from Swift

Targeted Russian banks are set to be banned from the Swift financial transaction system under plans put forward by a group of countries including the United Kingdom.

Ursula  von der Leyen has joined with world leaders, including the UK to ban certain Russian banks from Swift.
Ursula von der Leyen has joined with world leaders, including the UK to ban certain Russian banks from Swift.

The European Union is to consider proposals put forward by the European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen in an agreement with the UK, US and Canada, as well as some EU countries.

The White House also issued a statement detailing the proposals.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has previously urged world leaders to exclude Russia from Swift, in a move which has been backed by Ukrainian leaders who have called for governments to unite against the Russian attack.

In a call with the G7 on Thursday, Mr Johnson was said to have pushed “very hard” to remove Russia from Swift.

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Ms von der Leyen said: In coordination with the United States, France, Germany, Italy, Canada and the United Kingdom, I will now propose new measures to EU leaders to strengthen our response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and cripple Putin’s ability to finance his war machine.

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"First, we commit to ensuring that a certain number of Russian banks are removed from SWIFT. It will stop them from operating worldwide and effectively block Russian exports and imports.”

She added: “Second, we will paralyse the assets of Russia’s central bank. This will freeze its transactions. And it will make it impossible for the Central Bank to liquidate its assets.”

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The White House said: "This past week, alongside our diplomatic efforts and collective work to defend our own borders and to assist the Ukrainian government and people in their fight, we, as well as our other allies and partners around the world, imposed severe measures on key Russian institutions and banks, and on the architects of this war, including 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. We will implement these measures within the coming days.”

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