Complete disconnection of russian banks from SWIFT can force russia to stop missile attacks on Ukraine — Former US Ambassador to Ukraine
Complete disconnection of all russian banks from the SWIFT system, as well as the freezing new kremlin's assets, can be one of the effective levers of influence on russia to force it to stop missile strikes on Ukrainian cities.
US ambassador to Ukraine from 2003-2006, now the director of the Eurasian Center of the Atlantic Council, John Herbst, voiced this opinion in an interview with Ukrinform.
"I think it would be good to eliminate the gaps in the sanctions related to the termination of access (of russian banks – ed.) to the SWIFT system. Or, perhaps, it should be done in such a way as to convince our allies to give moscow two or four weeks for it to stop attacks on Ukrainian infrastructure before making a decision on eliminating these gaps," Herbst noted.
He emphasized that this would become a "colossal" limitation and a lever of pressure on russia capable of changing the kremlin's behavior.
"Currently, the SWIFT sanctions remain insufficiently effective because there are still several russian banks that have access to the SWIFT system. If this access is closed, it will be a huge step," the former ambassador believes.
He also noted that another tool of influence on the russian federation would be the additional freezing of its assets.
Starting in June 2022, the first seven and then three more russian banks were disconnected from the SWIFT system as part of various sanctions packages.
The rest of the russian banking institutions continue to work in this international network of payment information exchange.