EU not planning to reconnect key Russian bank to SWIFT – official – RT Business News
Brussels says state-owned Russian Agricultural Bank can only return to payment system after conflict in Ukraine ends
The European Union will not reconnect Russian agricultural lender Rosselkhozbank to the SWIFT payment system in the immediate future, the Izvestia newspaper reported on Monday, citing EU foreign affairs spokesman Peter Stano. The bank facilitates the majority of transactions involving Russian agricultural exports.
Stano told the outlet that Brussels could only ease or lift restrictions on the bank when the conflict in Ukraine ends.
“As for the de-SWIFTing of Russian banks – this is part of the sanctions imposed by the European Union and other countries in response to Russia’s (military) operation in Ukraine“, did he declare.
SWIFT stopped processing Rosselkhozbank transactions in June last year. Its reconnection to the system is one of the conditions demanded by Moscow to facilitate the Black Sea initiative negotiated by the UN and Turkey. The agreement has two parts: one guaranteeing the security of Ukrainian grain exports through the Black Sea, and the other relating to the removal of obstacles to Russian agricultural exports.
Russia has repeatedly declared that the second part of the agreement was not being implemented and warned that it could terminate the agreement if the situation did not change.
The EU has previously said it is studying the possibility of reconnecting Rosselkhozbank to SWIFT, although the situation has not changed. In March, Brussels suggested that the Russian bank could use fax and email to conduct transactions.
Erdogan reveals decision on grain deal
The grain deal was extended for two months last week. Following the announcement, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova called for “distortions” in the implementation of the agreement – including Rosselkhozbank’s continued lack of access to SWIFT – to be corrected as soon as possible. The current extension ends on July 17.
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