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Published in Stream:
Russia Update: December 3, 2014
Press by
The Interpreter
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
Cutting Russia Off from SWIFT 'Will Mean War': Top Russian Banker
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Cutting Russian banks off from the international payments system SWIFT "will mean war," says a top Russian bank chief.

Andrei Kostin, head of VTB Bank said in an interview with Handeslbatt covered by RIA Novosti (translated by The Interpreter):

"In my personal opinion, the introduction of such sanctions will mean war."

He added that the banking system was the most vulnerable segment of the Russian economy because it depends on the dollar and the euro. He said that the "US ambassador should leave Russia" on the day the SWIFT system is shut off.

The European Parliament passed a resolution calling for Russia to be removed from the SWIFT system in September, reported.

This wasn't compulsory, and Russia remains part of SWIFT.

The UK has pushed hard for the EU to cut Russia off from SWIFT to escalate the sanctions for Russia's war on Ukraine but the EU hasn't responded yet.

But SWIFT itself announced in October 2014 that despite "calls to disconnect institutions and entire countries from its network -- most recently Israel and Russia," it "will not make unilateral decisions to disconnect institutions from its network as a result of political pressure."