EU threatens to cut Russia off SWIFT
If Russia orders an invasion of Ukraine, the country runs the risk of being completely shut out of SWIFT, a major global payment system, the EU has warned amid claims in the West that Moscow is planning a strike on its neighbor.
In a resolution adopted by the European Parliament on Thursday condemning an alleged build-up of Russian troops and hardware on the shared border, Brussels noted that it must be poised to send “a very stark warning that military hostilities will not only be unacceptable, but also come at a high economic and political price.”
According to the text, any new embargoes should target the Russian officer corps and officials involved in the purported planning for a possible offensive, as well as the “immediate circle and oligarchs in the orbit of … President [Vladimir Putin] and their families.”
Under the plans, Moscow would also be cut off from the SWIFT payment system, hitting vital sectors of the Russian economy and disrupting the “financing of the country’s intelligence services and the military,” the press release read.
The resolution, which saw 548 votes in favor, 69 against and 54 abstentions, comes amid concerns that Russia could stage an all-out assault on Ukraine. Last week, US Under Secretary of State Victoria Nuland said that Washington, alongside a handful of Western European nations, is considering isolating Moscow from the global financial system in the event of a military incursion.
Moscow has consistently denied accusations from a number of Western officials that it is plotting an invasion of the Eastern European nation. Last month, Kremlin press secretary Dmitry Peskov described reports in Anglophone media as groundless and “hysteria.” He previously stated that “the movement of our armed forces on our own territory should be of no concern to anyone,” and that Russia is neither a danger nor a threat to any other country.