Germany wants limited Russia SWIFT ban – Foreign Ministry

Berlin is seeking to limit collateral damage to its own economy from sanctions on Moscow over the Ukraine crisis

Germany’s government is not looking to completely cut Russia off from the SWIFT global payment system, the country’s Foreign Ministry announced over the weekend.

According to reports in the German media, Berlin is discussing a “targeted and functional limitation of SWIFT” rather than a complete ban, and ministers are discussing ways to reduce the impact of the measure on Europe.

“We are working to decouple Russia from the SWIFT system in such a way that collateral damage remains as small as possible,” German broadcaster n-tv quoted Federal Minister of Justice Marco Buschmann as saying. The outlet also reports that Economic Affairs Minister Robert Habeck spoke of limiting collateral damage so that the measures “hit the right targets.”

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The EU has decided to exclude “some Russian banks” from the SWIFT international payments system as part of the sweeping sanctions imposed on the country over its military action in Ukraine. Kiev has been demanding a blanket ban.

Last week, Germany’s Finance Ministry said Russian banks faced a “complete blockade” in the country, with the only exception being payments for energy supplies. Berlin also said last week that it was still unclear what consequences exactly the sanctions against Russia would have on the German and EU economies.

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