The United States, United Kingdom and European Union, on Saturday, have agreed to cut off some Russian banks from the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT).
This new sanction, contained in a joint statement, is expected to cripple the Russian financial sector, as Russia is heavily reliant on the SWIFT financial messaging system for its key oil and gas exports, the British Broadcasting Corporation reports.
Key Russian banks were targeted in the new measure with the Russian Central Bank coming under restrictions for the first time.
The statement said the intention of the financial sanction, considered the harshest sanction thus far, was to “hold Russia to account and collectively ensure that this war is a strategic failure for Putin.”
The restrictions on the central bank was to target the more than $600bn in reserves that the Kremlin has at its disposal, and this was meant to make it impossible for Russia to be able to support the ruble amid tightening Western sanctions, CBS News reports.
The sanction was said to be partial as the statement indicated that ways to limit the impact of the restrictions on other economies were still being ironed out.