Disable Russian banks from the international payment system SWIFT tantamount to a declaration of war. If this happens, the US Ambassador to Russia on the same day will have to leave Russia, said A.Kostin in his interview. According to him, Kostin added that the banking system is highly dependent on the dollar and euro, and is the most vulnerable part of the Russian economy.
Earlier Andrey Kostin said that VTB is in talks with Sberbank on creating a new alternative to SWIFT.
After the US and EU imposed sanctions on Russian banks there were fears that the next stage would be cutting Russia off from the SWIFT system.
A call to shut down the SWIFT system in Russia first came from British Prime Minister David Cameron. A resolution in the European Parliament also included such a proposal.
However, SWIFT representatives said that they will not switch Russia off the company’s services despite political pressure, adding it has "no authority" to make unilateral sanctions decisions. The company said it can happen only if the EU takes the decision.
SWIFT is a global banking transactions system connected to more than 10,000 financial institutions in 210 countries. The daily turnover of payments made via SWIFT is around $6 trillion. Russia is the world’s second largest SWIFT customer after the US.