Seven Russian banks have been removed from the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT).
SWIFT is a messaging service that connects financial institutions around the world.
In a statement Wednesday, SWIFT said “Diplomatic decisions taken by the EU, in consultation with the UK, Canada and the US, bring SWIFT into efforts to end this crisis by requiring us to disconnect select Russian banks from our financial messaging services.
SWIFT said they were compelled to fully comply with applicable sanctions laws, adding that in compliance with the legal instruction in EU Council Regulation (EU) 2022/345 of 1 March 2022, “we will disconnect seven designated Russian entities (and their designated Russia-based subsidiaries) from the SWIFT network.”
They further explained that the regulation requires them to carry out the disconnection of the identified entities on 12 March 2022, adding they will do so accordingly.
A statement by the EU Council named the seven banks to include, Bank Otkritie, Novikombank, Promsvyazbank, Rossiya Bank, Sovcombank, VNESHECONOMBANK (VEB), and VTB BANK.
The US, EU, UK and Canada in a joint press release warned they would disconnect “selected” Russian banks from SWIFT in order to punish President Vladimir Putin for invading Ukraine.
Russia attacked Ukraine last Thursday after President Putin ordered his army to invade their neighbours over some unresolved political issues.
The invasion has now resulted in the death of scores of civilians, including women and children while many others have been displaced.
The Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Wednesday announced that over 9000 Russian soldiers have been killed in Ukraine but the Russian Defense Ministry only announced that 498 troops have died and 1,597 more have been injured.
The losses shed new light on what had been up until now tightly controlled messaging regarding what the Kremlin insists is a limited “special military operation.”