The European Union has started the process to cut Russia off from the SWIFT banking system, according to European media reports.

“️⚡⚡️ Foreign Minister Kuleba reports that the process of disconnecting #Russia from #SWIFT has begun,” local media said. Nexta tweeted Saturday.

The EU, US, UK and Canada imposed sanctions on Friday, freezing the foreign assets of Russian Vladimir Putin and his Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in light of the invasion in progress from Ukraine.

European leaders had decided on Friday to impose a second batch of sanctions to cripple the Russian economy, setting its target on banks, state-owned companies and individuals. However, he had been undecided about blocking Russia from SWIFT.

France had supported Russia’s cut off from the SWIFT global payment system and was also prepared to supply arms and military equipment to Ukraine. German Finance Minister Christian Lindner said on Friday his government was “open” to cutting Russia off from Swift.

Peoples Gazette previously reported on Hungary’s support for cutting Russia off from the banking network.

Although the Swift network was created and incorporated under Belgian law, in 2012 it was designed to satisfy an EU regulation aimed at cutting Iran off from the banking system.

Cutting Russia out of the system would cause immediate and long-term damage to its economy, especially to its international financial transactions, such as profits from oil and gas production. This represents more than 40% of Russia’s income.

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