Forbes India – Russia: Cut “all ties” between Russia and the global financial system: EU
French Economy and Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire talks to the press with the German Finance Minister (unseen) about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine at the Economy Ministry in Paris on February 25, 2022, before the start of an informal Ecofin and Eurogroup meeting. (Photo Eric PIERMONT / AFP)JThe European Union wants to cut all ties between Russia and the global financial system, France’s finance minister said on Friday, adding that Moscow’s withdrawal from the SWIFT interbank system remained a “last resort”.
Speaking hours after European national leaders agreed new sanctions on Russia for its attack on Ukraine, Bruno Le Maire said the EU “wants to cut all ties between Russia and the global financial system “.
“We want to financially isolate Russia… We want to dry up funding,” he added as EU finance ministers met in Paris to discuss economic measures.
The Mayor and his German counterpart Christian Lindner said Russia’s removal from the Belgium-based SWIFT system remained “on the table”.
“Not all possibilities of sanctions have yet been exhausted,” he added.
Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba had been more explicit on Thursday, writing on Twitter that “who now doubts that Russia should be banned from SWIFT must understand that the blood of innocent Ukrainian men, women and children will also be on his hands”.
SWIFT’s messaging system allows banks to communicate quickly and securely about transactions, and cutting off Russia would cripple its ability to trade with most of the world.
Cutting off Russia could complicate remaining trade with Europe, including vital natural gas imports for the continent’s energy supply as well as oil shipments.
And Lindner clarified that “in specific cases, payments (to Russia) remain possible, for example to pay for gas deliveries”.
Berlin announced this week that it would halt certification of a new pipeline bringing gas from Russia known as Nord Stream 2, but an existing direct link remains in service.
© Agence France-Presse
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