The European Commission has announced the removal of a number of Russian banks from the messaging system of the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT), with the aim of restricting Russia’s ability to make cross-border payments.
In a joint statement issued by the European Commission, the leaders of France, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom, Canada and the United States emphasized their common interest in protecting Ukraine from a war against Russia:
We want to hold Russia accountable and collectively ensure that this war is Putin’s strategic failure. ”
The European Commission condemned the actions of Russian President Vladimir Putin in the blockade of Ukraine, and promised to take a number of measures to isolate Russia from the international financial system.
European Union Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced five preventive measures against the Russian authorities, starting with the removal of a specified number of Russian banks from the SWIFT messaging system.
In addition to severing Russia’s ties with Swift, the European Commission is “crippling the assets of the Russian Central Bank” by creating another financial barrier to liquidating the assets of the Russian Central Bank. Regarding the third measure, the European Commission stated:
“We are committed to implementing measures to restrict the sale of citizenship – so-called ‘golden passports’ – which allow wealthy Russians affiliated with the Russian government to become citizens of our countries and access our financial systems.
The European Commission will soon set up a transatlantic working group to ensure the effective implementation of all sanctions, primarily aimed at freezing the foreign assets of Russian officials, the elite and their families. As a fifth measure, the commission plans to strengthen coordination against disinformation and other forms of hybrid warfare.
Related: Cryptocurrency May Bypass President Biden’s ‘Devastating’ Sanctions Against Russian Banks and Elites: Report
As global markets continue to impose new economic restrictions on Russia, a Cointelegraph report on February 24 highlights how Russian billionaires can circumvent any sanctions imposed by world leaders using cryptocurrencies.
Now that Russian banks are in danger of being excluded from the international financial network SWIFT, encryption may be the key to avoiding penalties for the wealthy. Matty Greenspan, founder and CEO of Quantum Economics said:
“If a wealthy person is concerned that their accounts may be frozen due to sanctions, they can simply store their fortune in bitcoin to protect themselves from such actions.”