Minister Dmytro Kuleba / Photo from UNIAN

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba has called on the European Union to consider the possibility of disconnecting Russia from the global SWIFT payments system.

This was announced by the minister in an interview for Reuters.

Read alsoUkraine's foreign minister asks EU to prepare new sectoral sanctions against Russia

He voiced this idea during a video conference with EU foreign ministers, which took place on April 19. In his opinion, this measure could become part of a package of new economic sanctions if Russia escalated the situation in eastern Ukraine.

"I have no information to state that the decision to launch a military operation against Ukraine has already been taken. So it can go in either direction now. And this is why the reaction of the West, the consolidated reaction of the West, is so important now, to prevent Putin ... from making that decision," Kuleba told Reuters.

Kuleba hopes Western countries "will follow their words with deeds" in the issue of aid for Ukraine.

Previous developments

  • In March 2014, Visa and MasterCard halted serving cards of Russia's certain banks in line with the resolution of the U.S. Department of the Treasury. The move affected clients of JSC Rossiya Bank, Sobinbank, InvestCapitalBank, SMP Bank, Bank Finservice, and others.
  • The said banks were put on the so-called Specially Designated Nationals List, that is, a list of citizens and companies that are subject to U.S. sanctions.
  • Inclusion in the list meant the freezing of the banks' American assets and a ban on all transactions on any foreign accounts. In addition, the 50% rule was enacted, according to which all organizations in which a person included in the U.S. Treasury Department's list owns at least a 50% stake were subject to the sanctions.
  • Russia's Central Bank then made a statement that, if necessary, it would provide support to Rossiya Bank, so that U.S. sanctions could not affect its financial stability.
  • On March 21, 2014, Chairperson of the State Duma Committee on Financial Markets Natalya Burykina announced that the American payment systems Visa and MasterCard, which stopped cooperating with a number of Russian banks, might be stripped of a license to operate in Russia.
  • On April 13, 2021, Russian President Vladimir Putin's Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov anticipated Russia might be cut off from the Visa and MasterCard payment systems as part of the Western sanctions policy towards the Russian Federation.