Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev warned the West that the "Russian response will know no limits" if Russia is cut off from the SWIFT payments system.
"Yet again discussions have started in limiting the so-called SWIFT payment system. We’ll wait and see what happens. Of course, if these decisions are made, I would like to note that our economic reaction as with any other reaction will be unlimited,”- Medvedev said.
This comes as in late August 2014, media reports said the UK had proposed banning Russia from the SWIFT network as part of an upcoming new round of sanctions against Moscow over its stance on developments in neighboring Ukraine.
The Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications (SWIFT)- is overseen by 10 central banks — Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, The Netherlands, United Kingdom, United States, Switzerland, and Sweden — as well as the European Central Bank. It transmits 1.8 billion transactions a year, remitting payment orders worth $6 trillion a day. The system comprises over 10,000 financial organizations from 210 countries.
SWIFT has acted on broad-based sanctions in the past.
In March 2012, the European Union passed regulation prohibiting SWIFT from providing services between European and Iranian banks. SWIFT is incorporated under Belgian law and required to comply with its home government’s rules. SWIFT disconnected the EU-sanctioned banks from Iran.