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Russian Banks Denied SWIFT System


As Russia continues its military build up on the border of Ukraine, Western and American officials have been detailing the potential sanctions should Russia decide to attack Ukraine. One possible action would be cutting Russia off from the SWIFT payment system.


“Some call it the "nuclear option." It doesn't involve weapons though.

As U.S. President Joe Biden's administration considers economic threats to thwart what it fears is a new Kremlin plan to invade Ukraine, there is one option that is reportedly on the short list: cutting Russia off from the global electronic-payment-messaging system known as SWIFT.

It would be an unprecedented move against one of the world's major economies.

The White House has not confirmed it is threatening to disconnect Russian banks from SWIFT, which stands for Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication.”


The officials declined to say whether the United States was prepared to cut Russia off from the SWIFT system, which executes global financial transactions between more than 1,100 banks in 200 countries. But European officials say they have discussed that possibility — something most major European powers had declined to consider until recently, for fear that Russia might retaliate by attempting to cut off gas and oil flows in the winter, even briefly.”

Related: Will Russia invade Ukrainian territory in 2022?

If Russia invades Ukraine, will the United States cut Russian banks off from the SWIFT system by 2023?

This question resolves positively if a) Russia invades Ukraine under the same resolution criteria as this question, except removing the clause excluding "areas of Ukraine already occupied (officially or de facto) by Russia as of December 11, 2021"; and b) the United States State Department or other governmental agency announces it has cut Russian banks out of the SWIFT system, regardless of whether they are later allowed back in. If Russia does not invade Ukraine, the question resolves ambiguously.


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