Japan Today
world

U.S., EU, UK to sanction Russian central bank, block SWIFT

61 Comments
By ZEKE MILLER, RAF CASERT and ELLEN KNICKMEYER

The requested article has expired, and is no longer available. Any related articles, and user comments are shown below.

© Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

©2024 GPlusMedia Inc.

61 Comments

Comments have been disabled You can no longer respond to this thread.

Good.

More, please.

9 ( +17 / -8 )

Hotels in Moscow are asking their foreign guest to settle their bills in advance because they are worried about credit cards not working after the SWIFT sanctions kick in.

This will hurt Russia the most and hopefully turn people against putin.

6 ( +16 / -10 )

Good. Should have been done in 2014. Failure to do so then simply emboldened Putin.

5 ( +14 / -9 )

his will all make it more difficult to get commodities from Russia and will increase the pressure on the financial market.”

Hit Putin and his oligarchs in their wallets, like so many dictators, that's where they could be hit the hardest.

Sorry for ordinary Russians that might be hurt. But like the old saying goes, you get the government you deserve. Start thinking about the palaces Putin is reputed to own, and how much money he's made for himself selling off your state's oil and gas, and how little of your money has trickled down to those outside the oligarch's circle. Russia under Putin is similar to Venezuela, Iran, or any other state that allows a handful of oil barons to take their state's money and then keeps it for themselves. US Americans think likewise, and imagine what could happen if a grifter once again takes charge of the country, and has even greater control this time over the courts, congress and the military. And remains backed by oil barons around the world.

1 ( +11 / -10 )

Putin is now no doubt realizing the foolishness of his miscalculation...and the pain it will cause he, his cronies, and the Russian people....though he cares little about the latter....

Embargo any assets or wealth he and his cabal of oligarchs have; currency, investments, mansions, yachts, etc., and turn it into cash that is then sent to the Ukraine government to purchase weapons and/or humanitarian supplies.

1 ( +11 / -10 )

The West must do more to make Moscow's economy scream up to eleven and leave Russian pitchforks and tumbrils to do the rest.

2 ( +9 / -7 )

It’s a start. What’s next?

4 ( +10 / -6 )

All because of Putin’s arrogance.

4 ( +11 / -7 )

Today 09:01 am JST Posted in: Japan, U.S. agree impact of Russia's aggression goes beyond Europe See in context

Credit cards that draw from Russian banks have been reported to have stopped working abroad, but they still work in Russia.

https://www.reuters.com/business/sanctioned-russian-banks-face-international-payment-problems-2022-02-25/

8 ( +11 / -3 )

Cutting him off from the Russia's foreign assets is a big move. It makes it very hard for Russia to fund itself. The price of natural gas will sky rocket.

The best way out of this is for Russia to withdraw from Ukraine ASAP.

4 ( +10 / -6 )

This is a welcome development.

2 ( +9 / -7 )

Sorry for ordinary Russians that might be hurt. But like the old saying goes, you get the government you deserve

What does that mean exactly??

-6 ( +5 / -11 )

It is sad that people think this is a good idea. Mostly people who do not understand the impact. It wont work, there are alternatives and it is effectively a massive step towards brining NATO into the war which means all of us. A conflict between two countries has now become very close to being a world conflict.

I am sure the hope is that powerful rich people will be contacting putin and asking him to stop but that is wishful thinking.

I expect the next push will be for no-fly zones and if that happens then its war and war for a very long time which harms us all and it pointless.

Please people you have spent two years being dictated by democractic leaders and have followed but don't follow them into a pointless world war.

-9 ( +4 / -13 )

Well I guess Germany and Italy will be seeing gas shortages seeing they depend on Russian gas and if they can pay their bill the gas gets turned off.

Or

They will do as usual like all governments and use the backdoor.

The Russian central bank after 2014 set up the System for Transfer of Financial Messages (SPFS) to counter SWIFT being cut off.

Over 400 Russian banks are members (about twice the number that are connected to SWIFT) as well a dozen of so other bank outside Russian including Chinese banks and others.

So it may be a bit inconvenient but the money will Go by SWIFT from European bank to XYZ SPFS member bank outside Russia to a SPFS member bank in Russia.

3 ( +8 / -5 )

I would add it is not removal of swift from russia but from selective banks. The article above is too long and tedious to read so I had to re-scan it after reading the BJ statement.

Q. Which banks or how many of them in total?

Q. Will the swift ban be ever expanding?

Q. Will Germany still be able to purchase its gas supplies?

1 ( +3 / -2 )

“These new sanctions, which include removing several Russian banks from SWIFT and sanctioning Russia’s central bank, are likely to cause serious damage to the Russian economy and its banking system,”

"Several" banks - not all. Also, the actions will have no effect at all on natural gas and oil that make up 30% of Russia's GDP. These actions are nothing but window dressing.

Part of the reason may be that the US is realizing that weaponizing the US dollar will cause nations to seek another global currency. Once the USD loses global currency status, it's curtains for the US economy.

They are all complicit.

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

Q. Will Germany still be able to purchase its gas supplies?

Ahhhh now that is a very good one, we should and Italy to that question as it also depends on Russian gas and unlike Germany, Italy doesn't have the financial resources to suddenly change to what will be a far far more expensive alternative.

Q. Will the swift ban be ever expanding?

Another good question, if it is then we can start preparing for far higher cost in just about everything starting with fuel, because once Russia is no longer able to get payed it will stop all exports and that will cause the remaining fuel supplies to go sky high.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

You you guys that don’t understand…(Not your fault, the the most reliable news is from RT, now getting banned, and Aljazeera)

USA want to cut oil and gas from Russia to Europe so it can take the 40% EU market.

China and Russia are now superpowers.
-9 ( +6 / -15 )

Meanwhile, Japan is on the sidelines doing squat.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Cutting off access to SWIFT is the RIGHT thing to do, hopefully putin will realize his mistake, withdraw & then DISAPPEAR!!!

I bet china has noted whats going on, hopefully they are taking notes!

5 ( +8 / -3 )

You you guys that don’t understand…(Not your fault, the the most reliable news is from RT, now getting banned, and Aljazeera)

Up there with the most depressing comments I’ve read on JT.

I give you some credit for actually naming your sources. Our alternative media types who told us an invasion of Ukraine was something cooked up by the MSM are less forthcoming with their sources.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

I bet china has noted whats going on, hopefully they are taking notes!

Taking notes????

If anyone thinks China wasn't given notice before they are dreaming.

SWIFT may still be important but there are now may ways to get around it and Russia made their own version of SWIFT called "System for Transfer of Financial Messages" (SPFS) which certain Chinese banks are a member of and we all know to do that these Chinese banks needed top government approval.

So a simple way around, German bank sends Swift to Chinese bank that the send SPFS to Russian bank.

Transaction done.

Amazing how so much easier it would have been to not dangle NATO membership in front of Ukraine, sell billions of dollars in weapons but instead has Ukraine "talk" with the breakaway regions instead of passing more and more anti Russian language laws and doing everything it could to entrench these people more.

Putin has no right to do what he is doing, we can mostly all agree on that but with the false backing of NATO Ukraine instead of defusing the situation over the past 8 years did everything to escalate it.

Why does NATO still exist? Warsaw pact is gone, only a Rump Russian federation still remains, all the EU members are bound to protect eachother, so why NATO?

Only the USA benefits from it and mostly in the form of weapons sales

-4 ( +5 / -9 )

Germany specifically had balked at the measure since it could hit them hard. But Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said in a statement that “after Russia’s shameless attack ... we are working hard on limiting the collateral damage of decoupling (Russia) from SWIFT so that it hits the right people. What we need is a targeted, functional restrictions of SWIFT.”

Not fully. Deutsche Welle (DW) reports also

In an apparent concession to Berlin, the Western powers agreed that the ban would only apply to selected banks.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Unfortunately, most sanctions will hurt the people the most and the dictators like Putin less. His lifestyle will not change because he is one of the wealthiest people in the world with a whole country at his disposal. However, it shows that something is being done. It is similar to Afghanistan and the Taliban at the moment.

It is time to put the pressure on the oligarchs doing business outside of Russia, that includes children being sent to expensive schools or living abroad. Revoke their visa or residency status and send them home!

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I wonder if any of these brilliant “soft power” strategists advising the Global Prometheans have taken into account the fact that

a) Russia long ago prepared for this move, and

b) Russia and China already have a SWIFT alternative in place and ready to go.

The leaders of the European Commission, France, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom, Canada, and the United States issued a statement on Saturday, announcing the latest round of restrictive measures targeting Russia’s economy in response to Moscow’s military operation in Ukraine.

In particular, they concern “selected Russian banks,” which will be “removed from the SWIFT messaging system.” Russian Central Bank, meanwhile, will be prevented “from deploying its international reserves in ways that undermine the impact” of the sanctions.

The leaders said they will also “limit the sale of citizenship — so called golden passports — that let wealthy Russians connected to the Russian government become citizens of our countries and gain access to our financial systems.”

Finally, the countries announced plans to launch “a transatlantic task force” that will identify and freeze the assets of sanctioned entities within their jurisdiction.

As usual, the provocation is a bluff. The Global Prometheans aren’t willing to simply shut down SWIFT entirely because that would result in Russia simply replacing it with the Sino-Russian alternative and because it would shut off natural gas shipments to Western Europe for lack of payment. So, they’re trying to cause enough pain to encourage submission, but not so much that would result in rejection and competition.

-4 ( +6 / -10 )

zichiToday  11:36 am JST

Germany and Itlay can import gas and use the existing pipeline system.

The EU does not have a military pact along the lines of NATO. Macron wants a European force that was backed by Merkel.

Both the UK, Norway, and Turkey are members of NATO but not the EU.

Italy doesn't have 2 wooden coins to rub together, let alone pay far higher prices for it's gas.

What great enemy is NATO against?

Just big bad Russia? Let's be realistic the Warsaw pact is gone, Europe can take care of itself, it doesn't need daddy USA to hold its hand anymore and in truth it would be better off dealing with its own interests than that of the USA.

Look at Canada the recent troubles were finance but USA integrators because it benefited them, no need for vaccine crossing the borders would have give6the USA the advantage because the USA imposed vaccine only on non citizens entering.

Anyone thinking the USA is involved in anything for the good of others is living in a dreamland.

NATO means more USA weapons go to more countries for "uniformity".

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

Countries will still rely on Russia for oil and gas. Putin know this; thus, he started this brazen war. He has his reserves prepared. China is planning something similar with rare earth metals and technology. They want a globally monopoly to do what they want.

SWIFT can easily be circumvented with cryptocurrency. The same countries like China that wants to limit its use because of its inability to control it will now use it for transactions with Russia.

China will attempt to be a middleman to wash all of Russia's transactions.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

SWIFT can easily be circumvented with cryptocurrency. The same countries like China that wants to limit its use because of its inability to control it will now use it for transactions with Russia.

You are using cryptocurrency and digital currency interchangeably, and they are 2 entirely different things. The cryptocurrency market (meaning decentralized currencies such as bitcoin) is not large enough to handle the massive transactions we are talking about here. Cryptocurrencies will mainly provide relief for ordinary Russians and Ukrainians who are struggling to get by.

For deals between Russia and China, they will simply set up a digital system. It seems similar to crypto, but different in that it is centrally controlled by the government. They can print more money, stop payments, increase the value or evaporate the value, or do whatever they want.

SWIFT is completely unnecessary from a practical or technical point of view. It simply serves as a way for governments to control and limit trade and finance. The minute the system becomes politicized is the minute countries start to find alternatives.

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

Nator

It is sad that people think this is a good idea. Mostly people who do not understand the impact. It wont work, there are alternatives

Not really. Not for international trade. I guess you could use Bitcoin.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Looks like they are expecting either the Ruble to go into free fall on Monday when markets open, or for the government to shut the market down completely to try to forestall that.

Russian economy is about to be hammered.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

The sanctions will make the Russian people angry against Putin. Already being expressed with protests.

Russians over the centuries hated one thing more than their own despot dictators and rulers, and that is outsiders telling them what to do or going after their people.

The second any western powers intervenes, the second Russians feel really threatened it isn't against their own the will lash out against it is again the outsiders.

For some crazy reason, Europeans just can't seem to get that part through their thick skulls.

These are a people hardened by their history and environment. They are not tea sipping Soho hipsters or cafe siting parisians,

Oh and they have a maniac in power with nuclear weapons.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

The minute the system becomes politicized is the minute countries start to find alternatives.

Russia have been trying alternatives for years, but still depend on SWIFT because everyone uses it.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Numan

SWIFT can easily be circumvented with cryptocurrency. The same countries like China that wants to limit its use because of its inability to control it will now use it for transactions with Russia.

Cryptocurrency can probably bypass sanctions, but it is so volatile, most traders would not want to use it for international trade.

commanteer

SWIFT is completely unnecessary from a practical or technical point of view.

Between China and Russia, sure. But for the rest of the world, it will be a major impact.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Russians over the centuries hated one thing more than their own despot dictators and rulers, and that is outsiders telling them what to do or going after their people.

I’m getting the sense from recent events that Ukrainians have a similar outlook.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

The pathetic sanctions from the US-NATO circus against Russia are useless.

The US has been sanctioning Cuba for 60 years and they have not been able to break it, they will not be able to do it with Russia, not even in a thousand years.

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

Now it's the turn of Putler & Friends to get "SWIFT-boated" from their gilded Putinkin Village fortress and, it's to be hoped, booted out of power. Putin's "Apprentice Tsar" unreality show jumped the shark long ago. The Russian people must swiftly seize this moment in history when amateur player Putin miscalculated and wandered into a "Fool's Mate" of his own making, and start out on the road to a real Russian democracy.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

SWIFT can easily be circumvented with cryptocurrency. The same countries like China that wants to limit its use because of its inability to control it will now use it for transactions with Russia.

China will attempt to be a middleman to wash all of Russia's transactions.

I already pointed out this.

They don't need to use cryptocurrency.

Russia created "System for Transfer of Financial Messages" (SPFS) after 2014 and this includes more banks in Russia, Belarus, than are members of SWIFT and includes Chinese banks and others including African, Asian, South American banks that are also members of SWIFT.

So unless these western powers are ready to also cut of Chinese banks from SWIFT and really start a world war the work around is well in place.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

Russia created "System for Transfer of Financial Messages" (SPFS) after 2014 and this includes more banks in Russia, Belarus, than are members of SWIFT and includes Chinese banks and others including African, Asian, South American banks that are also members of SWIFT.

This is not a perfect analogy, but Russia is about to become the equivalent of an eBay seller that doesn’t have a paypal account and has his own system for accepting payment that requires buyers to send the total in pennies by registered mail to a PO Box in Alaska.

YES, technically he has created his own alternative, but good luck getting anyone to deal with you on that.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

China is planning something similar with rare earth metals and technology. 

Lol. The US has vast amounts of the metals in question in the deserts of the southwest. China ran the prices so low that the US mines closed. They could not match China's low price. But the minerals are there in abundance.

As for tech, the US owns the most advanced tech. The forges and computer software required to produce the most advanced microchips are US technology that China does not have access to. China has to go to the west to buy durable high bypass turbofan engines for commercial aircraft and had to go to the French for the technology to make turboshaft engines for helicopters. Neither China nor Russia have mastered the material science necessary to manufacture the most advanced turbine engines and, most importantly, make them as durable and reliable as the best western designs. China has to go to the west for avionics too. And medical equipment. And the most advanced oil drilling technology. And railroad locomotives. China is behind the west on many advanced technologies and Russia even moreso.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Germany is so shooting itself in the foot with this. They depend more on Russian gas and oil than ever, and as they cut the supply lines (NordStream) and now the payment mechanisms, they instead will have to shift to ever more expensive Opec oil. Just brilliant.

-4 ( +5 / -9 )

I’m getting the sense from recent events that Ukrainians have a similar outlook.

You should look at Ukrainian history.

They don't like anyone or anything that isn't "pure". I wouldn't trust them anymore than I trust Putin.

Already we are seeing the propaganda machine trying to rewrite history by trying to portray Ukrainian SS units as being good.

A well known documentary maker is trying to whitewash Ukrainian SS units by putting out a short video claiming these units refused to fight on the western front but only wanted to fight the Soviet Union.

He forgot to mention how they participated in rounding up Jews, Poles, Romani, etc.. but hey let's just ignore that.

Let's ignore why Canadian PM is so quick to react and gung ho for sanctions, etc.. the large population of ethnic Ukrainians in the country the same population that government reports showed that after WW2 help hide hundreds of ukrainian war criminals,

No I say let these two fight, time to stay the heck out of it, neither can be trusted, they have been at this since at least the 8th century if not longer.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

rainydayToday  12:59 pm JST

YES, technically he has created his own alternative, but good luck getting anyone to deal with you on that.

He already has, in China and several other countries including more banks in Russia than SWIFT.

If a Chinese bank is involved then that means China is officially involved.

So a very simple thing, SWIFT to the Chinese bank and SPFS to the Russian bank.

Doesn't take a rocket scientist to do something that simple.

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

The US has been sanctioning Cuba for 60 years and they have not been able to break it, they will not be able to do it with Russia, not even in a thousand years.

well it worked well for the USSR

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Antiquesaving

You should look at Ukrainian history.

Indeed. Good luck expecting that from our corporate media with their childish "Putin bad" fixation.

They don't like anyone or anything that isn't "pure". I wouldn't trust them anymore than I trust Putin.

Already we are seeing the propaganda machine trying to rewrite history by trying to portray Ukrainian SS units as being good.

A common mistake by shallow commentators is to generalize about all "Ukrainians". The country is deeply divided, with parts of the population as rabidly anti-Russian as CNN, and other ethnic Russians and under persecution by the corrupt regime.

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

Russia created "System for Transfer of Financial Messages" (SPFS) after 2014 and this includes more banks in Russia, Belarus, than are members of SWIFT and includes Chinese banks and others including African, Asian, South American banks that are also members of SWIFT.

Oh my goodness no. Only one Chinese bank participates in SPFS while 31 Russian banks participate in the Chinese equivalent CIPS. SPFS currently has about 400 member banks throughout former Soviet Union republics, which handles more than 20% of domestic transactions. It is only open during normal business hours Monday - Friday whereas SWIFT operates 24/7/365. On top of that, the message size is significantly smaller. In theory, SPFS could be grown and additional foreign countries could be allowed to join it but that is not currently the case. It only serves Russia and a few former Soviet Republics, mainly those in central Asia.

Just over 79% of the worlds trade is conducted in US dollars. Russia is heavily dependent on the US Dollar for trade. Cutting their banks out of SWIFT and the Dollar trade will cause a lot of problems for the Russian economy. Right now no bank anywhere will write a line of credit to any shipper to load a load of oil, gas or grain from a Russian port. Insurers have told shippers to stay out of Russian ports and many shipping lines are refusing to take loads out of Russia. These are all things being done outside of any government actions. Businesses don't want to risk doing business with Russia. China's CIPS is restricted to cross border trade in Renminbi only, not international currencies and doesn't handle capital transactions, so its scope is very limited and in no way a replacement for SWIFT.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

Good luck expecting that from our corporate media with their childish "Putin bad" fixation.

A large portion of the world have a ‘Putin bad fixation’ right now. Are they all childish?

1 ( +7 / -6 )

wtfjapanToday  01:12 pm JST

The US has been sanctioning Cuba for 60 years and they have not been able to break it, they will not be able to do it with Russia, not even in a thousand years.

well it worked well for the USSR

Russia isn't the USSR, what is left as Russia is for the most part unified as a country, unlike the USSR that had always had Groups within it that never identified as USSR even less as Russian.

What is now Russia is not the USSR and the Cuban analogy is more plausible now than it would have been towards the USSR.

Russia has all the resources it needs it has the population it needs and it's people don't like to be told what to do by western Europe they never have a d every time western Europe decides it will dictate to Russia we have war Napoleon, Crimea, WW1, WW2, does Europe ever learn?

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

Germany is so shooting itself in the foot with this. They depend more on Russian gas and oil than ever, and as they cut the supply lines (NordStream) and now the payment mechanisms, they instead will have to shift to ever more expensive Opec oil. Just brilliant.

Russia has just blown its whole leg off in comparison. Russian's with dual passports are burning their Russian passports in disgust. Thousands arrested protesting Putins madness in Russia and so many more on the streets raising the level of objections from ordinary Russians.

SWIFT is a hefty blow against Russia and perhaps the biggest single action that the West could take to damage Russian ability to function normally. It is a very welcome move.

Sad for ordinary peace loving Russians who pay Putin,s price. As are the 40% conscript army Russia has fighting his war. Ukrainians are settling in for a long fight and for resistance afterwards as cells are being created and methods of outside supply being set up with the help of Western nations.

Putin needs to call his people home and stop being a murderer and invader and a loser.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

And you don’t think Putin has a plan for the SWIFT ban? All these cheerleaders here pushing towards another war.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

And you don’t think Putin has a plan for the SWIFT ban? All these cheerleaders here pushing towards another war.

The war is already started, by Putin. The world wants to end it. Surprised?

2 ( +5 / -3 )

I'm not sure which one has more psychopathic tendencies.

Putin or western European leaders?

I mean we know Putin isn't playing with a full deck but what about the western Powers are they?

How many times do the western powers have to have an all encompassing war with Russia?

I mean there seems to be something deeply wrong with western Europe, it just loves to antagonize Russia, from Napoleon to the Crimean war, right up to the 2 official world wars.

Lest be honest had the western powers kept to no NATO expansion, had they kept their noses out of eastern Europe, Russia would have just stayed in is corner but no the western powers were again determined to put their 2 cents into everything east including Russian politics.

So again here we are on the brink of a possible world war and again it is the Europeans.

-6 ( +3 / -9 )

So a simple way around, German bank sends Swift to Chinese bank that the send SPFS to Russian bank.

Transaction done.

Yes, paying 2 transaction fees is a great way to be competitive long term. Those fees are not insignificant.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Peter14Today  02:09 pm JST

And you don’t think Putin has a plan for the SWIFT ban? All these cheerleaders here pushing towards another war.

The war is already started, by Putin. The world wants to end it. Surprised?

Sure and how did all the past western European war against Russia go?

What is wrong with western European and their descendants, do they love war that much? Or are they trying to bring forward the end of the world prophecy of the Christian Bible.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Yes, paying 2 transaction fees is a great way to be competitive long term. Those fees are not insignificant.

Yeah Putin already figured that one out and heavily subsidizes the SPFS.

Problem solved.

I really have a laugh. Do people really think the the Russian leaders are so stupid they didn't have contingency plans in place.

This is Russia not Iran and it had a lot of time to plan things out.

-8 ( +1 / -9 )

The war is already started, by Putin. The world wants to end it. Surprised?

No need for the last comment. We all do not want war. The disagreement is the means to end the conflict.

These actions will push NATO towards war with Russia. Russia and Ukraine is one war. World War is another.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Sure and how did all the past western European war against Russia go?

Russia has been in a number of wars in Europe and started some of them. Now it has begun a new one. It seems Russia loves wars more than anyone else in Europe.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites