EU announces closure of Russian banks to SWIFT, “freezes” central bank and freezes oligarchy assets – Observer

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The decision was announced by the head of the European Commission this Saturday night, while sirens sounded in Kiev, announcing new airstrikes: Many Russian banks will be excluded from the SWIFT system Thus “disconnected from the financial system”. But Ursula van der Leyen has added another blockade seeking to prevent Putin (and his allies).Control measures“For the action of the Central Bank of Russia – to” disable “it, the official said.

Throughout this Saturday, it was reported that European leaders were showing their respective “green lights” to block access to SWIFT by major Russian banks. Germany was also among the governments that abandoned the initial reluctance, only warning the previous day of the potential detrimental consequences of this decision.

Within 48 hours of the European Commission President announcing the first steps, Its effectiveness was almost immediately questionedBrussels He adjusted his hand. “We, the leaders of the European Commission, France, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom, Canada and the United States, have condemned Putin’s choice of war and his attacks on the sovereign nation and the people of Ukraine,” the coalition said in a statement. . “We stand in solidarity with the Ukrainian government and the Ukrainian people in their heroic efforts to oppose the Russian invasion,” he added.

“First, we are committed to ensuring that a select group of Russian banks is removed from the SWIFT news system, which is used for most international transactions and was formed as a co-operative in 1973 by European and North Americans. Banks. More unofficially, it was pointed out that these are the seven banks, which would be the most appropriate for the Russian financial system, which covers a large percentage of Russian bank assets.

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Opinions among experts on the practical impact of this decision are somewhat divided – some fear the dire consequences, while others agree that it will not be shocking (especially given the sanctions already imposed on Russian banks). But the geopolitical significance of this organization is not trivial, and the Kremlin said in 2019 that such a decision should be seen as a “declaration of war” by the West.

When Russia warned that removing Swift would be a “declaration of war” by the West

But the allies did not stand there and announced another decision with significant impact. The European Commission will “impose” on the West Control measures to prevent the Russian Central Bank from using international reserves We must try to avoid the impact of our sanctions.

The Russian central bank has international currency and gold reserves Equivalent to $ 630 billion In international currency reserves – a small portion of the ruble will be used to control the strong devaluation. According to the latest data, the central bank holds 16% of its international reserves in US dollars and about 33% in euros. Of the rest, 16% was in the Japanese yen and 22% in gold.

Third, the new sanctions, according to the European Commission, will target “individuals and organizations that provide war in Ukraine and facilitate harmful actions by the Russian government.” In the problem, from the beginning, the adjustment of programs Gold visas “allow wealthy Russians affiliated with the Russian government Become citizens of our countries and gain access to our financial markets.

The European Commission next week a Working group It will “ensure the effective implementation of our sanctions,” Identifying and disabling the assets of authorized persons And companies that are within our jurisdiction.

“As part of this effort, we are committed to applying sanctions and other measures to the elites close to the Russian rulers and government, as well as to their families and their facilities.” We will liaise with other governments and work to identify and prevent the movement of gains. [financeiros] Received incorrectly ”, concludes

The allies say they are “in solidarity with the Ukrainian people at this dark time” and “even beyond the measures we are announcing today.” [sábado]We are Russia is ready to take further action to hold it accountable for its attack on Ukraine“.

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