European lawmakers in a resolution Thursday asked the EU's executive branch to consider barring Russian banks from the world's largest interbank messaging platform in response to violence in Ukraine. A final decision on whether to require the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (Swift) to sever its links with Russian banks rests with the EU Council, which in March 2012 imposed an identical ban on EU-designated Iranian financial institutions in an effort to thwart the Islamic Republic's nuclear program. The resolution follows U.K. recommendations in August to exclude Russia from the banking consortium's messaging service, which facilitates internationals wires for...
At its highest levels, Russian corruption over the past 20 years has been disguised by networks of shell companies and facilitated by foreign banks willing to turn a blind eye to state embezzlement, according to Karen Dawisha, a political science professor at Ohio-based Miami University.
Whatever the effectiveness of sanctions meant to sway Russia's involvement in Ukraine, one thing is certain: they've worsened the country's capital flight problem. By year's end, approximately $128 billion will have moved abroad, up from $63 billion in 2013, according to Russia's central bank.
The European Union Tuesday further restricted Russia's access to the continent's financial markets and energy technology industry and promised targeted sanctions against individuals and entities on Wednesday.