The international community might disconnect Russian banks from SWIFT banking network, reacting to the Russian aggression near the Kerch Strait. Kurt Volker, the U.S. Special Representative to Ukraine said this in a commentary for Voice of America.
In particular, Volker noted that the U.S. and the European allies insist that Russia return captured vessels and 24 Ukrainian servicemen and intelligence agents, arrested by the Russian special services.
According to him, various options for response actions are being considered to put pressure on Russia and “reach the moment when Russia like to conduct talks to reach a decision”.
One of these measures, Volker stressed, is disconnection of the Russian banks from the international banking network SWIFT, which is regulated by Belgium’s laws and accelerates the international transactions while sending payment orders to the financial institutions in different countries.
“People call it “a nuclear option”. This will lead to the expenses for all the participants. Big expenses for Russia and for the allies. Ultimately we have to preserve such option as we can’t let Russia take another aggressive step concerning the neighbors, like this one (the situation in Kerch Strait, - ed.),” he said.
According to Volker, another option is to forbid the Russian vessels to enter the European ports as long as they arrive from Crimea or the Azov Sea.
The U.S. Special Representative warned that it would be “extremely reckless” for Russia to take any further aggressive actions in Ukraine.
“Ukrainian servicemen are much more capable than before. It will be a great experience. They will lose the last opportunity to deny their guilt, and Ukraine will receive a significant support,” he concluded.