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EU finally gets tough on Moscow banks… but Britain urges it to go further and bring in even harder measures as war in Ukraine escalates
- Britain, US, EU and Canada said Russian banks will be barred from Swift system
- A Government source said the move will harm 70 per cent of Russia’s main banks
- Western leaders also agreed ‘restrictive measures’ upon Russia’s central bank
- Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said the UK will keep pushing for harsher measures
Britain was last night pushing for even tougher sanctions against Moscow, amid predictions that Russian banks could start to run out of money.
In a major climbdown at the weekend, Germany and Italy agreed to drop their opposition to excluding Russian banks from the Swift payment system, which dominates international trade.
In a joint statement, Britain, the US, the EU and Canada said ‘selected Russian banks’ would be removed from the Swift system, disconnecting them from the international financial system and ‘harming their ability to operate globally’.
In a joint statement, Britain, the US, the EU and Canada said ‘selected Russian banks’ would be removed from the Swift system
A Government source said the move would mean 70 per cent of Russia’s main banks were excluded from the system, making it increasingly difficult for Russian firms to conduct trade.
Western leaders also agreed to place ‘restrictive measures’ on Russia’s central bank to prevent it from ‘deploying its international reserves in ways that undermine the impact of our sanctions’.
But Foreign Secretary Liz Truss yesterday said the UK would continue to push for harsher measures.
Miss Truss, who raised the issue with G7 finance ministers yesterday, said the measures were ‘unprecedented’, but added: ‘We continue to press for tougher and tougher sanctions.
‘We were very clear with the G7 that there will be escalatory sanctions, that the ratchet would be tightened on Russia. And that’s what we’re seeing.
‘We have led the calls for Russia to be excluded from the Swift system. We are making progress.
‘It doesn’t end here.’