CNN spoke about the US intention to disconnect Russia from SWIFT as a sanction introduce a new package of sanctions against Russia. His project includes the so-called “nuclear option” – disconnecting Russia from the international payment system SWIFT. In the spring, the European Parliament passed a non-binding resolution calling for such a step in the event of a Russian invasion of Ukraine.
The list of restrictions also includes sanctions against members of the inner circle of Russian President Vladimir Putin and Russian energy producers. US officials told reporters that a final decision on whether new sanctions will be applied has not yet been made. According to sources, the administration of President Joe Biden is currently negotiating with European countries to coordinate actions.
New US economic sanctions against Russia will target a range of Russian industries, including energy companies and banks. Restrictive measures can also be applied in relation to the country's national debt, interlocutors told CNN. The Russian oligarchs may also come under attack – the American authorities intend to restrict their travel and block access to American banks and credit card systems.
“We put together a damn aggressive package,” one official said. He also warned that if Russia invaded Ukraine, the United States and Europe would impose the worst economic sanctions ever applied to that state. President Biden also mentioned the restrictive measures in early December. “I have put together what I consider to be the most complete and meaningful set of initiatives in order to make it as difficult for Putin to implement his intentions as possible and to prevent him from doing what many fear,” he told reporters. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken also spoke in one of his speeches about “highly effective economic measures” that are being considered to punish Russia.
Auditor of the Russian Audit Chamber Alexei Savatyugin called Russia's disconnection from SWIFT a declaration of economic war. “Disconnecting Russia from SWIFT seems to me an even less likely event than restrictions on the secondary market of our public debt,” he stressed. Savatyugin also added that it would be difficult to put pressure on SWIFT from a legal point of view, since the corporation is not state-owned and is not controlled by any government.