Ukraine FM says decision to remove Russia from SWIFT is being prepared 'at the technical level'

26 February 2022, 06:05 PM

The decision to take Russia out of the SWIFT global financial payment system due to its invasion of Ukraine is being prepared at the technical level, according to Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba on Facebook on Feb. 26.

“The official decision has not yet been issued, but technical preparations for the adoption of the decision and the implementation of this sanction have already begun,” he wrote.

“We were gnawing (away) and (kept) gnawing. The whole vertical of Ukrainian diplomacy was working – from the president of Ukraine to the attaché at the Ukrainian embassy.”

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Kuleba said Ukrainian diplomats dedicated this victory to all the defenders of Ukraine.

Earlier on Feb. 26, U.S.-based Bloomberg business news agency reported that the United States is seriously considering whether to seek Russia’s expulsion from the SWIFT financial messaging system over its invasion of Ukraine, as allies in Europe warm to the idea of imposing a penalty that seemed unlikely just days ago, according to people familiar with the matter.

Biden administration officials are now debating whether to push for a directive from the European Union needed to ban Russia from SWIFT, though a U.S. and EU decision is not imminent, according to the people. Officials are discussing the matter with the U.S. Federal Reserve, which sits on SWIFT’s oversight body, two people familiar with the matter said. Another mentioned that talks have commenced with the European Commission.

On Feb. 26, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky announced that almost all EU countries back the decision to remove Russia from SWIFT, except for Hungary and Germany. Later Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban announced he supported this decision, followed by Italy and Cyprus.

Rikard Jozwiak, a journalist from the Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty news agency, tweeted on Feb. 26 that “Germany will move on SWIFT.”

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