Gazprombank Swift system removal may disrupt gas flow

The removal of a number of Russian banks from Swift, an international payment system used by thousands of financial institutions, expected soon as one of the sanctions to be imposed by the EU, US, UK and allies on Russia to pressure the Russian economy following its invasion of Ukraine, could disable Russia’s ability to collect payments for natural gas and oil exports, but this development could ultimately backfire by prompting Russia to turn off its taps.

Such a prospect will largely depend on whether or not Gazprombank, Russia’s third-biggest bank, is included on the list of banks to be cut off from the Swift international payment system. This specific bank receives all payments for Russian natural gas exports to Europe.

It is feared that Russia could, as a response, disrupt natural gas supply to Europe, greatly dependent on Russian gas, especially if Moscow’s military attacks in Ukraine fail to produce the desired results, despite the cost entailed by such a move for the Russian economy and the country’s funding of the war on Ukraine.

According to British media, Russia’s ongoing attack on Ukraine is costing Moscow 15 billion pounds per day, an amount making the country’s energy export revenues crucial.