Biden reveals update on Russia and SWIFT

The US president responded to questions about Moscow’s continued access to the global payments system

Speaking to the press after announcing new economic sanctions against Russia on Thursday, US President Joe Biden said that cutting Moscow off from the SWIFT payment system was not an action being taken at this time, adding that the latest measures were potentially of “more consequence.” 

“The sanctions that we have imposed on all their banks are of equal consequence or maybe more consequence than SWIFT, number one,” Biden said in response to a question about the proposal. 

“Number two, it is always an option but right now that is not the position the rest of Europe wishes to take,” he added.

Numerous calls have been made for Russia to be disconnected from the system – a key mechanism in facilitating financial transactions between banks around the world – particularly in the wake of Moscow’s attack on Ukraine on Thursday. 

Earlier in the day, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced new wide-ranging sanctions against over 100 Russian individuals and entities, and said London was working with its NATO allies to cut Russia off from SWIFT.

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