Ukraine will propose to strengthen the sanctions against the Russian Federation, in particular, to disconnect it from the international payment system SWIFT if there are no changes in the negotiation process regarding the resolution of the situation in Donbas by the end of this year. Leonid Kravchuk, the head of the Ukrainian delegation to the Tripartite Contact Group and the first President of Ukraine, stated this.

“I will express my opinion here. If by the end of the year, when it will be a New Year’s holiday, there is no progress in the negotiations, I think, the beginning of a new year will bring a new standard of our understanding of the situation, our search for new influence tools and our proposals for pressure on the aggressor. These may be the sanctions, which are called an “international payment system.” We will demand it. We will request other sanctions, ” Kravchuk said.

He stressed that official Kyiv remains a supporter of the diplomatic way of resolving the war in Donbas.

“If Russia does not want to reach an agreement via diplomacy, politics, we must do everything to force it to stop the aggression and restore the territorial integrity of Ukraine by joint pressure from the world community and Ukraine. And we will find forms of pressure,” the first president of Ukraine said.

He reminded that a vital document about the comprehensive ceasefire in Donbas was adopted this year, “which is observed, though not perfectly.” At the same time, “no more solid steps have been taken towards peace.”

Meanwhile, Kravchuk’s words were responded to by the Federation Council of the Russian Federation’s Federal Assembly. According to Elena Perminova, First Deputy Committee on Budget and Financial Markets, Russia’s disconnection from SWIFT cannot be implemented, as the country occupies a “very significant place” in this system. Besides, Perminova called Kyiv’s offer baseless,  not serious, and unprofessional.

To recap, the possibility of disconnecting Russia from SWIFT has been discussed from time to time since 2014 when the first anti-Russian sanctions were imposed due to armed aggression against Ukraine. In particular, the European Parliament adopted a resolution calling, among other issues, to disconnect Russia from the international interbank system of information transfer and payment execution. At that time, however, SWIFT found these recommendations to be rights-violating and harmful to the company.

Bohdan Marusyak

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