EU considering compromise with Russia on SWIFT: report

The major Russian agricultural lender Rosselkhozbank could create a subsidiary that is reconnected to SWIFT to handle the country’s grain export payments. The plan was reportedly proposed by Moscow through UN-brokered negotiations, Russia Today cited a report by Financial Times.

Rosselkhozbank was cut off from SWIFT amid Ukraine-related Western sanctions against Russia. The lender’s reconnection to the system has been among the conditions put forward by Moscow to extend the deal for exporting Ukrainian grain, formally known as the Black Sea Grain Initiative. The arrangement was initially mediated by the UN and Turkey and signed in July 2022, but is due to expire on July 18.

Moscow’s proposal regarding Rosselkhozbank was reportedly discussed by EU leaders at a summit in Brussels last week, and was considered “the least bad option” to secure an extension for the grain deal. The legality and feasibility of the plan are currently being examined by EU officials, sources told the FT.

According to RT report, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov reiterated last week that Moscow sees no grounds to agree to an extension of the grain deal, insisting that promises made to Russia remain unfulfilled. He accused the US and EU of adopting an “outrageous” attitude by claiming that their sanctions do not explicitly target Russian agricultural shipments.

The diplomat argued that the restrictions applied to Rosselkhozbank, Russia’s shipping industry, and “a host of other allegedly technical but actually prohibitive actions” have created major obstacles to Russian exports.

“I don’t see what arguments there are for those who would like to continue this Black Sea initiative,” Lavrov stated.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *