‘Selected’ Russian banks will be expelled from the Swift banking system

US, UK, EU and allies issue joint statement on Ukraine crisis

Western leaders issued a statement pledging to take action against Vladimir Putin and Russia. Here it is in full…

“We, the leaders of the United Kingdom, the European Commission, France, Germany, Italy, Canada and the United States, condemn Putin’s war of choice and the attacks on the nation and the sovereign people of Ukraine.

“We support the Ukrainian government and the Ukrainian people in their heroic efforts to resist Russia’s invasion. Russia’s war represents an attack on the basic international rules and norms that have prevailed since World War II, which we we pledge to defend We will stand Russia must be held to account and collectively ensure that this war is a strategic failure for Putin.

“Last week, alongside our diplomatic efforts and our collective work to defend our own borders and to assist the government and people of Ukraine in their fight, we, along with our other allies and partners around the world, imposed measures harsh on key Russian institutions and banks, and on the architects of this war, including Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“As Russian forces launch their assault on Kyiv and other Ukrainian cities, we are determined to continue to impose costs on Russia that will further isolate Russia from the international financial system and our economies. We will implement these measures in the next few days.

“Specifically, we are committed to taking the following actions:

“First, we are committed to ensuring that certain Russian banks are removed from the SWIFT messaging system. This will ensure that these banks are disconnected from the international financial system and will harm their ability to operate globally.

“Secondly, we commit to impose restrictive measures that will prevent the Russian Central Bank from deploying its international reserves in a way that undermines the impact of our sanctions.

“Third, we commit to act against individuals and entities who facilitate the war in Ukraine and the harmful activities of the Russian government. Specifically, we commit to take action to limit the sale of citizenship – the so-called golden passports – which allow wealthy Russians connected to the Russian government to become citizens of our countries and access our financial systems.

“Fourth, we are committed to launching a transatlantic task force next week that will ensure the effective implementation of our financial sanctions by identifying and freezing the assets of sanctioned individuals and companies that exist in our jurisdictions. this effort, we are committed to applying sanctions and other financial and coercive measures to other Russian officials and elites close to the Russian government, as well as their families and their enablers to identify and freeze the assets that they hold in our jurisdictions, detect and disrupt the movement of ill-gotten gains and prevent such persons from hiding their holdings in jurisdictions around the world.

“Finally, we will strengthen our coordination against disinformation and other forms of hybrid warfare.

“We stand with the people of Ukraine in this dark hour. Even beyond the measures we are announcing today, we are ready to take further steps to hold Russia to account for its attack on Ukraine.”