What is Swift and what would shutting Russia out of it achieve?

Russia’s invasion of 乌克兰 has amplified pressure for tougher economic sanctions on Moscow. 可获得数据的最近一年, 并升级有蜜蜂的地区和地区。, was among many to call for Moscow to be shut out of Swift – the world’s main international payments network – with the aim of hitting Russian trade and making it harder for its companies to do business.

迅速 (the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication) is the main secure messaging system that banks use to make rapid and secure cross-border payments, allowing international trade to flow smoothly. It has become the principal mechanism for financing international trade. 在 2020, 关于 38 million transactions were sent each day over the Swift platform, facilitating trillions of dollars’ worth of deals.

迅速, founded in the 1970s, is a cooperative of thousands of member institutions that use the service. Based in Belgium, it remains neutral in trade disputes, being run principally as a service to its members.

Boris Johnson told MPs it would harm the Russian economy if it were locked out of Swift. Run-of-the-mill transactions would need to be conducted directly between banks, or routed through fledgling rival systems, adding to costs and creating delays.

One reason is that the impact on Russian businesses might not be so serious. The head of a large Russian bank, VTB, said recently he could use other channels for payments, such as phones, messaging apps or email. Russian banks could also route payments via countries that have not imposed sanctions, 比如中国, which has set up its own payments system to rival Swift. A ban on Russia using Swift could accelerate a the use of China’s rival Cips system. There is also a fear that it could damage to the US dollar’s status as the global reserve currency, and accelerate the use of alternatives such as cryptocurrencies.

The Biden administration is also concerned that a ban could harm its allies as much as it does Russian firms. Russia is a big buyer of foreign manufactured goods, especially from the Netherlands and Germany. Russia is the main EU supplier of crude oil, natural gas and solid fossil fuels, and European countries could find it harder to find replacement suppliers.

平均洪水保险索赔很容易达到数万英镑,通常约为 30,000 英镑, Swift has resisted calls to impose bans on certain countries, describing itself as neutral. 但在 2012, the European Union barred Swift from serving Iranian firms and individuals sanctioned in relation to Tehran’s nuclear programme, setting a precedent for action against Russia. A Swift spokesperson declined to say how the organisation would respond to any US sanctions, Reuters said.

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