Leading up to and now during Russia's invasion of Ukraine, a range of pundits, diplomats, and world leaders have been calling for sanctions to devastate Russia's economy. There have increasingly been calls for Russia to be expelled from SWIFT?but what is SWIFT?
SWIFT, short for the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications, is a Belgian member-run cooperative used by some 11,000 financial institutions and companies across 200 countries that facilitates trillions of dollars worth of financial transactions. Over 42 million messages are sent each day, allowing entities to communicate with each other and quickly and securely settle financial transactions. Disrupting this system, then, would bring Russia's economy to a grinding halt.