Kremlin warns of ‘civil war’ in Ukraine if Russia is cut off from SWIFT global payment system
Removing Russia from the SWIFT global financial payment system may lead to a “civil war” in Ukraine, Russia’s Interfax news agency reported on Jan. 20, quoting Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov.
Peskov was commenting on U.S. President Joe Biden’s statements about possible sanctions against Russian banks.
Earlier, the U.S. National Security Council announced that Russia might be cut off from SWIFT if it attempted a further invasion of Ukraine.
“All these statements may contribute to the destabilization of the situation,” Peskov said.
“They could inspire completely erroneous hopes in the hotheads of some representatives of the Ukrainian leadership, who, as they say, on the sly, may decide to launch a ‘civil war’ in their country.”
The Kremlin has repeatedly attempted to sow a narrative of “civil war” between Kyiv and the Russian-backed statelets the “Luhansk People’s Republic” and “Donetsk People’s Republic,” despite copious evidence that Moscow alone instigated and maintains the conflict in Ukraine’s eastern Donbas territory.
Peskov added that the threat of excluding Russia from SWIFT “in no way contributes to defusing the tension that is now emerging in Europe,” referring to Russia’s deployment of at least 100,000 troops near the Russian-Ukrainian border.
In late December, Ukraine’s foreign minister, Dmytro Kuleba, said that Kyiv’s Western partners were developing sanctions against Russia in case of further aggression against Ukraine – including taking Russia out of SWIFT.
SWIFT, which stands for the Society of Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications, is a secure messaging system that allows banks to safely send money between one another. Cutting a national banking system out of SWIFT would likely have the effect of massively impacting and restricting a country’s ability to conduct global trade.
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