FAST FIVE: Blocking SWIFT Access Would Be "Declaration Of War": Russia Warns Against US 'Nuclear Option'
Blocking SWIFT Access Would Be “Declaration Of War”: Russia Warns Against US 'Nuclear Option' Last year during the height of controversy over the Kerch Strait incident, while two dozen Ukrainian sailors were still being held by Russia, Washington's special envoy to Ukraine at the time, Kurt Volker, floated the possibility of Washington blocking Russian banks from SWIFT.
“People refer to it as a nuclear option.
It would have costs for everybody involved,” he said. “Big costs for Russia, but big costs for allies as well.
Ultimately, we have to keep it on the table as a possibility because we just can't continue to see Russia launch further steps of aggression in its neighborhood like this.” No doubt it's still in Washington's playbook as a 'nuclear option' long after the Kerch Strait incident was diffused with an historic prisoner swap, and the Kremlin has taken note.
Indeed the unforeseen consequences of such a major global power (and energy provider to much of Europe and now even China) being suddenly isolated to that extent along with its fierce reaction, would likely create a global financial Armageddon and uncontrollable ripple effect. Meanwhile Russia has over the past months flirted with the possibility of joining INSTEX – the special purpose vehicle set up by Europe to facilitate trade with Iran – and has thrown its political weight behind the project as it gains momentum with more EU countries joining in the past days.