A number of Dutch MPs have criticised the EU’s decision not to shut Russia out of the Swift international payments system following the invasion of Ukraine.
EU leaders decided on Thursday night to bring in some sanctions but did not go as far as closing the payment system to Russia, a move which Ukraine had called for.
MPs from coalition parties VVD and D66 both said they wished the EU had gone further. ‘Even if closing off Swift has hit the Dutch economy, we should have been able to take the pain,’ VVD MP Ruben Brekelmans said.
Het afsluiten van betalingssysteem SWIFT zit er niet. Dit laat zien dat Europese landen nog te afhankelijk zijn van Russisch gas👇.
Kortom: we delen forse economische klappen uit, maar geen uppercut. pic.twitter.com/SvVlVHfVrf
— Ruben Brekelmans (@rubenbrekelmans) February 25, 2022
He described the decision to keep Swift as a last resort as a ‘nonsense argument’. ‘Russia has gone for total war and there is no follow on,’ he said.
PvdA MP Kati Piri said she wondered what Russia still had to do to merit even more sanctions. ‘Today will probably be a bloody day, in Kyiv as well,’ she said. ‘What are we waiting for? We have really sent the wrong signal to Putin.’
Rutte said after the meeting of EU leaders on Thursday night that the package of measures to put pressure on the Russian regime are the toughest imaginable at the moment.
The sanctions, said Rutte, are a signal to Russia that the world is united against events in Ukraine. ‘Whether the sanctions will have a direct impact, I don’t know,’ Rutte said. ‘But they will have an impact on the oligarchs… on those at the top of the economic ladder.’
Ukraine has been urging the EU to exclude Russia from Swift and foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba has said the doubters will have blood on their hands.
I will not be diplomatic on this. Everyone who now doubts whether Russia should be banned from SWIFT has to understand that the blood of innocent Ukrainian men, women and children will be on their hands too. BAN RUSSIA FROM SWIFT.
— Dmytro Kuleba (@DmytroKuleba) February 24, 2022
This article was updated to exclude the Faz.net report after it was amended.
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