Russia’s military aggression against Ukraine: EU bans certain Russian banks from SWIFT system and introduces further restrictions

(Source: Council of the EU and European Council)

The Council today introduced further restrictive measures in view of the Russian Federation’s unprovoked and unjustified military aggression against Ukraine.

The Council decided in particular to prohibit:

the provision of specialised financial messaging services, which are used to exchange financial data (SWIFT), to Bank Otkritie, Novikombank, Promsvyazbank, Rossiya Bank, Sovcombank, VNESHECONOMBANK (VEB), and VTB BANK’. This prohibition will enter into force on the tenth day after the publication in the Official Journal of the EU, and will also apply to any legal person, entity or body established in Russia whose proprietary rights are directly or indirectly owned for more than 50% by the above-mentioned banks.

to invest, participate or otherwise contribute to future projects co-financed by the Russian Direct Investment Fund.

sell, supply, transfer or export euro denominated banknotes to Russia or to any natural or legal person, entity or body in Russia, including the government and the Central Bank of Russia, or for use in Russia.

Today’s decisions complements the package of measures announced by the High Representative after the video conference of EU Foreign Affairs Ministers of 27 February. Such package also includes the provision of equipment and supplies to the Ukrainian Armed Forces through the European Peace Facility, a ban on the overflight of EU airspace and on access to EU airports by Russian carriers of all kinds, a ban on the transactions with the Russian Central Bank, and the prohibition for state-owned media Russia Today and Sputnik’ to broadcast in the EU.

The European Union condemns in the strongest possible terms the Russian Federation’s unprovoked and unjustified military aggression against Ukraine, and demands that Russia immediately ceases its military actions, unconditionally withdraws all forces and military equipment from the entire territory of Ukraine and fully respects Ukraine’s territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence within its internationally recognised borders.

The relevant legal acts have been published in the Official Journal (see link below)

Official Journal of the European Union, L 063, 2 March 2022

EU adopts new set of measures to respond to Russia’s military aggression against Ukraine (press release, 28 February 2022)

Russia’s military aggression against Ukraine: Council imposes sanctions on 26 persons and one entity (press release, 28 February 2022)

Informal video conference of foreign affairs ministers, 27 February 2022

European Council conclusions, 24 February 2022

Ukraine: Declaration by the High Representative on behalf of the European Union on the invasion of Ukraine by armed forces of the Russian Federation, 24 February 2022

EU restrictive measures in response to the crisis in Ukraine (background information)

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