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Russia & SWIFT: A swift explainer

Heavy SWIFT sanctions on Russia would be the hardest sanctions yet, but some western countries are reluctant to take these measures.

I’ve heard of SWIFT code before..

..& that’s exactly where it comes from. SWIFT is the world’s main international payments network, & the main facilitator of international trade.

What kind of sanctions are we talking about here?

Some Russian banks will be disconnected from SWIFT, but it’s not yet clear which specific banks will be cut off.

How would Russia be affected?

Well for starters, the Russian Ruble plunged by 30% against the U.S. dollar amid reports of banning Russia from SWIFT.

Russia would also find it much more difficult, slower, & expensive to pay for imports, receive money for exports, & borrow or invest across-borders.

Then why are some countries reluctant?

Russia is the biggest supplier of natural gas, oil, & solid fossil fuels to Europe.

That’s it.

You also won’t be surprised to know that the countries reluctant to impose heavy SWIFT sanctions are European powerhouses such as Italy, France, & Germany.