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SWIFT Defies Calls to Disconnect Russia
October 14, 2014 16:39

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There’ve been hawkish calls from some Western leaders, including a statement by the European Parliament, to disconnect Russia from the Swift transactions system over its alleged role in the Ukraine crisis.
Russia has shrugged off the threats, suggesting it has an alternative and warning the step would have serious costs for the Western financial system.
SWIFT itself has come out with a statement to defy political pressure and media hysteria.
“SWIFT and its stakeholders have received calls to disconnect institutions and entire countries from its network – most recently Israel and Russia.
SWIFT has underscored its neutral character.  a neutral set up. Founded under Belgian law in 1973, the global cooperative company is a provider of secure financial messaging services. Headquartered in Belgium, the organization connects more than 10,500 banks, financial institutions and corporations in more than 200 countries and territories around the world.
SWIFT is a critical service provider to the financial industry and plays a pivotal role in supporting international commerce and trade,” says a press release.
The company has been adamant it will not yield to political pressure and make unilateral decisions to disconnect institutions from its network.
It “regrets the pressure” and “the surrounding media speculation” that could undermine the systemic character of the services that the organization provides globally.
“Any decision to impose sanctions on countries or individual entities rests solely with the competent government bodies and applicable legislators. Being EU-based, SWIFT complies fully with all applicable European law,” runs the statement.
Russia is certain the threat will never materialize but is working out alternatives to ensure uninterrupted international transactions are available to Russian banks even in the worst case scenario.
The Central Bank operates its own system but it could be too expensive for other lending institutions to join it.

Following the independence referendum in Crimea and an outbreak of the civil war in the east of Ukraine, the West has introduced a number of far-ranging sanctions against Russia’s richest and powerful individuals and officials as well as state-run corporations and banks. 

Author: Mikhail Vesely

Tags: Russia International     

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