Germany says ready to limit Russia’s access to SWIFT cross-border payment system

Germany said on Saturday that it was ready to accept a “targeted and functional” limitation of Russia’s access to the interbank connection system SWIFTin retaliation for the invasion of Ukraine.

“We are working on ways to limit the collateral damage of an exclusion (of Russia) from the system SWIFTso that (the measure) affects the right people,” German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock and Economy Minister Robert Habeck said in a joint statement.

“What we need is a focused and functional limitation of SWIFT,” they added.

Ukraine calls for the expulsion of Russia from SWIFT, but countries of the European Union (EU), like Germany or Hungary, have so far expressed their doubts for fear that this measure will cause problems in the delivery of Russian gas.

SWIFTacronym for Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunicationis a messaging network that allows fast and secure interbank settlement between financial institutions around the world.

According to the website of the Russian national association Rosswift, Russia is the second country after the United States in number of users of this system, with some 300 member banks and institutions.

Specifically, this system allows, for example, a country like Germany to pay electronically for its purchases of Russian gas.


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