EU may disconnect several more Russian banks from SWIFT

The main hawks in the EU, Poland and Lithuania, have called for even more large Russian banks to be cut off from SWIFT. This is reported by Reuters with reference to high-ranking diplomats of the two EU countries.

In addition, Poland and Lithuania demand to impose sanctions on Russia’s nuclear sector and ban even more “Russian propaganda” media in the EU, the agency’s interlocutors noted.

Members of the alliance are finding it increasingly difficult to agree to new sanctions, one of them said. However, the EU will soon propose a new “ambitious draft” of sanctions, the diplomat added. According to him, the package of restrictions should be ready by the first anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine – February 24, 2023.

The EU has disconnected seven systemically important Russian banks from the SWIFT system: Sberbank, VTB, Otkritie, Promsvyazbank, MKB, RSHB and Sovcombank. This made it impossible for them to make transfers abroad to most of the world’s banks.

Poland, the Baltic States and Ireland also proposed to disconnect Gazprombank, Alfa-Bank, Rosbank and Tinkoff Bank from SWIFT. However, neither the eighth nor the ninth packages of sanctions contained these credit institutions.

In a new package sanctions may also be included against Belarus, a Russian ally that helps it circumvent restrictions on trade in goods, the agency’s interlocutors said.

Earlier, President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen announced about the upcoming sanctions against Belarus.

A nThe day before, new EU sanctions were announced by Swedish Foreign Minister Tobias Billstrom, whose country presides over the EU.

“Sanctions are the best EU tool to help Ukraine win this war, which is the ultimate goal of what we are doing,” Billström said (quoted by Reuters).

Ukraine has already called for sanctions against the Russian nuclear sector, in particular against the state corporation Rosatom, but this measure was previously blocked by Hungary. Russia has built four nuclear reactors in the country, and Rosatom plans to build two more.

“Do you feel comfortable with such a partner? Who is invading a neighboring country while building your nuclear power plant?” said a senior Ukrainian diplomat who attended the same meeting on Friday.

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