Sberbank plays down SWIFT cut in EU’s latest sanctions package

31 May, 03:09 PM
Sberbank said that cutting it off from SWIFT would not have a significant impact on them (Photo:Maxim Shemetov / Reuters)

Sberbank said that cutting it off from SWIFT would not have a significant impact on them (Photo:Maxim Shemetov / Reuters)

Sanctioned Russian bank Sberbank has said that its disconnection from SWIFT will have little effect on the work of the financial institution, since the most damaging sanctions against it have already been introduced.

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EU leaders agreed to cut off Sberbank, Russia’s largest bank, from the SWIFT electronic payment system at this week’s summit in Brussels.

The measure was announced on Twitter by the head of the European Council, Charles Michel.

He wrote that the sixth EU sanctions package includes harsh measures, including "de-Swifting the largest Russian bank Sberbank."

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The bank itself said that cutting it off from SWIFT would not have a significant impact on them as "the heaviest sanctions have already been introduced," RBC reported with reference to the bank's press service.

“The main restrictions are already in place.,” the bank said. “Disconnecting (Sberbank) from SWIFT does not change the current situation in international settlements. Domestic transactions do not depend on SWIFT and will be cleared by the bank as normal.”

In early May, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen confirmed that the EU plans to impose an embargo on Russian oil and cut off Sberbank from SWIFT as part of the sixth round of sanctions.

After the start of the Russian full-scale invasion into Ukraine on Feb. 24, the U.S. authorities added Sberbank to the so-called CAPTA list, which meant blocking the bank's correspondent accounts.

Britain imposed similar sanctions against Sberbank on March 1.

On April 6, the U.S. imposed sanctions against the two largest Russian banks, Sberbank and Alfa-Bank. The largest Russian bank was included in the SDN list, which means blocking assets and prohibiting U.S. companies and individuals from interacting with an organization.

Sberbank is the largest financial institution in the Russian Federation, accounting for more than half of retail deposits in Russia.

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