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Member countries of the European Union have agreed to cut off Russia’s Sberbank from the SWIFT international payment system.
The move is part of the EU’s sixth package of sanctions against Russia for its invasion of Ukraine.
The new sanctions will also target the Credit Bank of Moscow and the Russian Agriculture Bank, Bloomberg reported citing unnamed sources familiar with the discussion.
The EU, the US and the UK have already cut off several other Russian lenders from the global payment system.
Sberbank was spared because it played a key role in allowing EU members to pay for Russian energy imports.
This time, Russian lender Gazprombank has been spared by the bloc because it is handling payments from the EU for Russian gas.
The new round of sanctions also has a provision for a partial ban on the import of Russian oil.
Responding to the sanctions, Sberbank said it is carrying out its operations as usual.
“Sberbank is operating as usual. The bulk of the restrictions are already in place, yet the removal from SWIFT will not affect the current situation with international settlements. The bank’s national operations do not depend on SWIFT and will be run as normal,” the bank’s statement read.
Other Russian lenders that have been cut off SWIFT include VTB, Rossiya Bank, Otkritie, Novikombank, Promsvyazbank, Sovcombank and VEB.RF.
Earlier this month, Ukraine’s parliament approved President Volodymyr Zelensky’s decree allowing the Ukrainian authorities to seize Sberbank’s 100% stake in International Reserve Bank (IR Bank).