Meanwhile, Ukraine says preparations are already underway to kick Russia out of the global banking network
US President Joe Biden is “Weighing Seriously” support for the suspension of major Russian banks and financial entities from the SWIFT network, CNN reported on Saturday. Although such a decision would also require the support of the EU, whose members have not yet officially announced a final decision on this matter, the Ukrainian foreign minister says “technical preparation of the decision” has already started.
According to CNN, Biden plans to back Russia’s expulsion from the SWIFT network, which facilitates cross-border payments between banks and financial institutions around the world. While CNN quoted some U.S. officials as saying Biden was planning to cut Russia completely out of the system, others told the network that removing only some “banks and entities” is considered.
The Biden administration has discussed a possible ban with the US Federal Reserve and EU leaders, according to the report.
Biden imposed sanctions on Russia after Moscow launched a military offensive in Ukraine on Thursday. At the time, he ruled out Russia’s excommunication from SWIFT, telling reporters “This is not the position the rest of Europe wants to take.”
However, in the days that followed, more and more European countries came out in favor of a ban. Italy, which relies heavily on Russian energy imports, signaled support on Saturday, while Hungary also followed suit, according to the Polish prime minister. Mateusz Morawiecki. Germany remains reluctant, with Finance Minister Christian Lindner saying on Friday that Berlin must first weigh the cost of backing the measure. Germany depends on Russia for more than half of its natural gas imports, a dependence that is expected to intensify after the closure of its nuclear power plants.
According to a Saturday Facebook post by Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba, plans are already underway to remove Russia from the network. “The official decision has not yet been taken, but the technical preparation of the decision and the implementation of this sanction have already started”, Kuleba wrote, describing the supposedly impending ban as a “victory” for “all defenders of Ukraine”.
Despite support for such a ban in Europe and the United States, opponents argue that expelling Russia from SWIFT could not only harm Russians, but also Western countries that trade with Russia. Furthermore, they argue that such a move would facilitate the emergence of rival systems, like China’s CIPS, and accelerate the demise of the US dollar as the world’s reserve currency.
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