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UK leads drive to exclude Russia from SWIFT banking network

UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss is believed to be on a diplomatic mission in Europe to convince allies to exclude Russia from this key banking system, which had last collectively sanctioned Iran in 2012.

February 26, 2022 / 04:54 PM IST
Russia has drawn sanctions from the UK and the US following its attack in Ukraine (Image: Reuters)

Russia has drawn sanctions from the UK and the US following its attack in Ukraine (Image: Reuters)

The UK government is leading the charge in Europe to exclude Russia from the worldwide SWIFT banking network, as part of tough sanctions designed to deliver a financial blow to President Vladimir Putin over his invasion of Ukraine.

The Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) is the world's main banking messaging service which links around 11,000 banks and institutions in more than 200 countries, including India.

Based in Belgium, the system is considered central to the smooth functioning of global finances and Russia's exclusion from it would hit the country hard. However, while Canada and some American senators are in line with the UK on this, there is reluctance within the European Union (EU) over what is seen as a last resort move that will impact oil and gas payments.

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