Western nations line up tough sanctions. The following restrictions may be imposed:
Excluding Russia from the Swift service.
Russia’s exclusion from the financial information service Swift is a ban. Ukraine has insisted that this be done immediately.
Swift allows for quick cash transactions. The Swift service is used by 11,000 financial institutions in approximately 200 countries.
Russia’s ban on it would delay Russia’s receipt of oil and gas exports.
When Iran banned Swift from service in 2012 under US pressure, Iran lost almost half of its oil export earnings and 30 percent of its foreign trade.
The Russian parliamentarian has warned that if Russia is blocked from Swift, it will no longer send oil and gas to Europe.
Russia can focus on other customers. Money can be obtained through other systems. For example it could use the payment system between banks across China.
Boris Johnson says there is a possibility of Russia being expelled from the Swift service.
However, US President Joe Biden says this is not a “now” proposal and that the EU is unlikely to take action.
Preventing Russian gas and oil exports
One-fifth of Russia’s economy and half of its export earnings come from oil and gas.
So refusing to buy its oil-gas would be a very serious obstacle.
However, it will also affect Western countries that rely on it.
Russia supplies about 26 percent of the EU’s crude oil and 38 percent of its gas. Even a short-term shutdown of the gas supply would push up fuel prices there.