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West steps back from imposing Swift ban on Russia

West steps back from imposing Swift ban on Russia

Western governments are no longer considering cutting Russian banks off from the Swift network, Germany's Handelsblatt newspaper reported, citing German government sources.

Handelsblatt reported that, according to its government sources, economic sanctions targeting major Russian banks were being considered as an alternative.

The Russian rouble gained on the report.

Exclusion from Swift has often been seen as ultimate global sanction for rogue nations and has been the spur behind the build out of competing networks in both Russia and China.

Consideration of a ban has been played out in Western nations as a response to Russia's incursions in Ukraine.

Swift was last forced to take the unprecedented step of cutting off its financial messaging network to Iranian banks subject to European sanctions back in 2012. The taps were only turned back on three years later as part of a deal that saw the country limit its nuclear activity in exchange for an end to economic sanctions.

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