As the European Union seeks to be in solidarity with Ukraine, European countries will pay a high price for measures against Russia, said the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen.
According to her, Russian citizens and companies are now prohibited to keep more than 100,000 euros in European banks. Bank Otkrytie, Alfa-Bank, Bank Rossiya and Promsvyazbank will no longer be able to use the services of European financial companies.
In addition, the EU has restricted the export of goods and technologies for the defense and security sector, and banned the export of goods and technologies for oil, aviation and space industries to Russia. In addition, Europeans are now forbidden to finance Russian state companies.
For his part, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell said that the authorities would take measures to freeze the assets held in Europe by “high-ranking” Russian officials and members of the Russian elite, as well as their family members and “accomplices.” In addition, the EU will restrict the sale of “golden passports,” which allow Russian wealthy citizens to acquire the rights of Europeans, including access to the EU financial system.
Borrell pledged to engage governments of other countries to “identify the proceeds” of illicit money and halt the movement of such capital, denying those individuals the ability to “hide their assets” in jurisdictions around the world.
As a reminder, earlier the European Union imposed sanctions against the Central Bank of Russia. They concern the management of reserves and assets. The EU authorities can authorize the transaction, provided that it is “strictly necessary to ensure the financial stability of the Union.”
“Transactions related to the management of reserves and assets of the Central Bank of Russia are prohibited, including transactions with any legal entity, organization or body acting on behalf of the Central Bank of Russia,” the EU said.
It was reported from the German Cabinet of Ministers that all Russian banks that have already fallen under international sanctions (other Russian banks, if necessary) will be excluded from the SWIFT international payment system. “This is aimed at isolating these institutions from international financial flows, which will significantly limit their global activities,” the report said.
“You know, the example of Iran shows the most real consequences of the disconnection from the SWIFT system,” economist, publicist and permanent member of the Izborsk Club Mikhail Khazin told wek.ru, “when several leading banks in this country were subjected to such sanctions in late 2018. However, this had no effect on Iran's economy or politics; moreover, the country received an additional incentive to develop cooperation with Russia, including within the framework of the EAEU, which Tehran launched in February last year.”
On February 28, the Board of Directors of the Central Bank of Russia decided to increase the key rate immediately to 20%. “An increase in the key rate will allow for an increase in deposit rates to levels necessary to compensate for increased devaluation and inflation risks. This will help maintain financial and price stability and protect citizens' savings from depreciation,” the Central Bank of Russia said.
As for the possible disconnection of the SWIFT system in Russia, then, as stated by representatives of the Central Bank of Russia, the regulator has all the necessary resources and tools to maintain financial stability and ensure the continued operation of the financial sector, including in the case of disconnection of the country from the SWIFT system.