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Top German Lawmaker Warns of Dire Consequences for EU of Cutting Russia Off SWIFT

© Photo : Facebook / SWIFT Community / The Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT)
The Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) - Sputnik International, 1920, 30.01.2022
The idea of cutting Russia off from the biggest global bank network in the event of an invasion of Ukraine was reportedly floated by the US to inflict the harshest sanctions. Moscow strongly rejects any claims that it plans to attack its neighbour.
The leader of the German Christian Democratic Union (CDU), Friedrich Merz, has warned about dire consequences for Europe if the US and EU go through with a plan to cut Russia off from the SWIFT system. In an interview with the German news outlet Die Welt, Merz said that such a move would, first of all, hurt the European economy.
"There is a great danger that [SWIFT] will collapse and that we may then have to switch to the Chinese payment system. By doing so, we will cause serious harm to ourselves", Merz said.
The head of the CDU, the former ruling party, noted, however, that the option of cutting Russia off from SWIFT in case of aggression against Ukraine still remains on the table.
Merz's remarks echo a report by Bloomberg, which cited anonymous Western officials as saying that such an option is still being discussed. The sources, however, told Bloomberg that the harsh measure is strongly opposed by a number of European governments and it will be difficult to move forward with the idea.

Germany's Reported Opposition to Russian Sanctions Pressure

Several other German news outlets also reported that Berlin is creating obstacles to negotiating tougher planned sanctions to a possible Russian "attack" on Ukraine. The newspaper Handelsblatt cited government sources as claiming that the SWIFT cut off nuclear option had already been ruled out in talks with the US.
The magazine Der Spiegel, in turn, cited correspondence between the US envoy to Germany and German Foreign Ministry describing the tensions between the two countries regarding sanctions discussions. Washington reportedly slammed Berlin for being the main obstacle to negotiating tough anti-Russia sanctions.
The U.S. Capitol Building is seen past the Washington Monument as people walk around the Reflecting Pool on the National Mall as the sun sets on November 28, 2021 in Washington, DC. President Biden returned to Washington after spending the Thanksgiving Holiday with family in Nantucket and immediately met with members of his medical team to discuss the newly discovered Omicron variant of the coronavirus. - Sputnik International, 1920, 29.01.2022
US Reportedly Plans to Target Russian Industries, Not Citizens With New Ukraine-Related Sanctions
The talks about the new round of sanctions were launched under the pretext of an alleged Russian threat to Ukraine. The West claims that Russia has been gathering troops near the border with Ukraine in order to potentially attack it.
The Kremlin has strongly rejected these allegations on multiple occasions and defended the nation's right to move the country's troops within its own territory as it sees fit. Moscow has also condemned the harsh rhetoric and ramping up of tensions by the West, stressing that it does not seek war with anyone, be it Ukraine or NATO member nations. Yet, the Kremlin reserved the right to respond if its territory is threatened by NATO forces constantly on the move eastward.
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