As Russia continues its assault against Ukraine, Western leaders are hardening their economic resolve against Putin.
The U.S., Canada, Europe and Britain moved on Saturday to block some Russian banks from SWIFT, the main global payments system.
The new measures will be implemented in the coming days, and include restrictions on Russia’s central bank.
The West wants to prevent Putin from accessing $630 billion in foreign currency reserves he could use to finance his war and prop up a plunging rouble.
European Commission President Ursula Von Der Leyen said the measures prevent Russia from using its “war chest.”
”We are resolved to continue imposing massive costs on Russia, costs that will further isolate Russia from the international financial system and our economies… ”
”Putin embarked on a path aiming to destroy Ukraine, but what he’s also doing, in fact, is destroying the future of his own country.”
Cutting Russian banks out of the SWIFT system deals a blow to Russian trade and makes it harder for Russian companies to do business.
SWIFT, or the “Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication”, is a secure messaging network that facilitates rapid cross-border payments.
It has become the principal mechanism for financing international trade.
Each year, trillions of dollars are transferred using the system.
The allies on Saturday also pledged to limit the sale of citizenship via so-called golden passports used by some wealthy Russians to gain residency in Western nations.