Swift restrictions added
The European Union said last week that it had excluded seven Russian banks from the SWIFT messaging system that supports global transactions, but stopped short of including banks that handle energy payments.
The United States and its allies could further tighten these restrictions and prevent most or all Russian banks from accessing SWIFT, the world’s leading international payments network.
Only one major bank, VTB, has been cut so far, Fishman said. “There is a lot we can do there,” he added.
The United States has imposed several rounds of sanctions on Russian oligarchs and elites, including metallurgical and telecommunications magnate Alisher Usmanov and Nikolai Tokarev, CEO of energy giant Transneft, among others.
The United States can continue to impose sanctions on Russian oligarchs that have not yet been targeted, and can also take steps to align its sanctions with those of the European Union or the United Kingdom, which have targeted many Russian oligarchs that Washington has not yet identified.
They include Chelsea Football Club owner Roman Abramovich, billionaire Mikhail Friedman and billionaire Peter Aven. Aven and Friedman co-founded LetterOne, or L1, which has long-term investments in technology, energy, healthcare and retail. Friedman is also one of the founders of the Alpha Group, which owns the leading private Alfa bank in Russia.
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