It was an expected deliberation. Limited in their military response to Russia Since its invasion of Ukraine, Western countries have adopted a new set of sanctions against Moscow late in the evening on Saturday. These decisions include the exclusion of many Russian banks from the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (Swift), a Belgian banking platform which plays an essential role in global finance, announced the German government, which chairs the G7 forum.
Are concerned “all Russian banks already sanctioned by the international community, as well as if necessary other institutes”, said the spokesman for the German government. These measures have been taken by the United States, France, Germany, Great Britain, Canada, Italy and the European Commission.
It is therefore a strong gesture that Western countries are making towards Russia, in the hope of depriving it of financial resources. A decision that seemed very uncertain in recent days, both Germany, for example, or even Italy, showed their fears about the repercussions of such a measure. But on Saturday, Germany, which has to deal with the difficulty of its dependence on fossil fuels from Russia – it is through Swift that it electronically regulates its purchases of Russian gas – was already beginning to break the taboo.
Video: Russian military invasion in Ukraine: can the sanctions against Moscow backfire on the Europeans? (France 24)
Click here to enlarge
Kiev tightens curfew, anyone on the streets after 5 p.m. treated as an enemy
The mayor of the Ukrainian capital announced on Saturday a toughening of the curfew in place due to the Russian invasion, warning that anyone on the street between 5 p.m. and 8 a.m. would be treated as an enemy. The details of Clovis Casali, special correspondent for FRANCE 24 in Kiev.
War in Ukraine: look back at the latest captures of Russian troops
On the third day of the invasion led by Russian President Vladimir Putin, Kiev is Saturday morning under fire from Russian missiles. Heavy fighting is taking place in the capital and other parts of Ukraine. Julien Chehida, special correspondent for FRANCE 24 in Ukraine, takes stock of the latest captures by the Russian army.
War in Ukraine: Kharkiv, the second city of the country, under the bombardments
While the country is fighting to prevent Kiev from falling into Russian hands, other cities in Ukraine are the scene of clashes. In Kharkiv, a large city in eastern Ukraine near the Russian border, residents have been asked to stay in their shelters or, if they are at home, not to go near windows. The fighting is intense and the bombardments frequent in the city center.
Block Russian exports and imports “effectively”
Through the voice of its Ministers for Foreign Affairs, Annalena Baerbock, and for Energy, Robert Habeck, Berlin, in full examination of conscience since the Russian invasion, agreed on Saturday to “a targeted and functional limitation” for Russian financial institutions, thus wishing “limit the collateral damage of a disconnection from Swift”. Speaking about this decision, the President of the European Commission Ursula van der Leyen assured that she “will prevent [les Russes] to operate worldwide and will effectively block Russian exports and imports”. In addition, the boss of the European executive proposed to “crippling the assets of the Russian Central Bank” in view of “freeze its transactions”.
It now remains to measure the effect of these measures. Worn out with financial sanctions, Moscow has indeed had plenty of time to develop a Financial Message Transfer System (SFPS), which allows it to circumvent, for a fifth of its internal transactions, the Swift, as noted the Parisian. The parties to the agreement excluding Russia from the platform have already “stressed that we are ready to take additional measures if Russia does not put an end to its attack on Ukraine and therefore on peace in Europe”.