Ruble holds strong as US threatens to cut Russia off SWIFT
The Russian ruble is trading steady against the US dollar on Tuesday despite threats of US sanctions, targeting Russia’s financial system and potentially being cut off from SWIFT, if a military conflict with Ukraine reignites.
The ruble strengthened to 73.98 against the greenback, while the euro declined to 83.53 rubles.
Russian stock markets also shrugged off the latest threats from Washington as the benchmark MOEX Russia Index rose 0.97% to 3,846.85 at 11:13 GMT following a decline of 2.6% on Monday.
Washington is reportedly considering a wide set of punitive measures against Russia in the event of a military conflict with Ukraine.
The sanctions would target Russian banks along with Moscow’s ability to convert rubles to foreign currencies, Bloomberg reported, citing people familiar with the discussions. They would also reportedly target the Russian sovereign wealth fund, make it harder for investors to buy Russian debt on the secondary market and potentially disconnect the country from the SWIFT banking network.
The threat from Washington comes as US President Joe Biden is set for talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin by video link on Tuesday.
Multiple reports pushed by Western media outlets over recent days allege that Russia is planning a military incursion into Ukraine. The speculation, which has been persistently fueled by the Ukrainian government, is based on information allegedly received from anonymous or unnamed sources.
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