The Europeans have further tightened sanctions against Russia on Tuesday. The EU-27 gave the green light to ban the broadcasting of Russian state media RT and Sputnik in the EU and to exclude “certain Russian banks” from the Swift messaging system, the French EU Presidency announced.
The representatives of the member states in Brussels also approved a ban on Europeans participating in projects co-financed by the Russian sovereign wealth fund RDIF. These measures will come into force on Wednesday after publication of the decision in the Official Journal of the EU, which will specify the names of the banks targeted.
Swift, a financial weapon
The Western allies had announced Saturday to exclude Russian banks from Swift, so as to inflict on Moscow “costs that will further isolate it from the international financial system and our economies. The sanction is considered a financial “atomic weapon”: the Swift system allows operations such as the transit of payment orders and fund transfer orders between banks, and some 300 Russian banks and institutions use it.
Germany and Italy, which are highly dependent on Russian gas deliveries, have finally aligned themselves with this measure.