The European Commission announced the removal of several Russian banks from the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications (SWIFT) messaging system, with the aim of hampering Russia’s ability to make cross-border payments.

In a joint statement issued by the European Commission, the leaders of France, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom, Canada, and the United States highlighted their shared interest in defending Ukraine from war with Russia:

“We will hold Russia accountable and we will collectively ensure that this war is a strategic failure for Putin.”

While condemning Russian President Vladimir Putin’s decision to besiege Ukraine, the EU Commission has pledged to undertake a series of measures to isolate Russia from the international financial system.

EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced five proactive measures against Russian authorities, starting with the removal of an undisclosed number of Russian banks from the SWIFT messaging system.

In addition to cutting Russia’s ties with SWIFT, the EU Commission will “freeze the assets of Russia’s central bank,” creating another financial barrier for the Russian central bank to liquidate assets. Regarding the third measure, the EU Commission stated:

“We are committed to taking steps to limit the sale of citizenship, so-called golden passports, which allow wealthy Russians connected to the Russian government to become citizens of our countries and gain access to our financial systems.”

The EU Commission will soon launch a transatlantic task force to ensure the effective implementation of all sanctions, the main goal of which is to freeze the foreign assets of Russian officials, elites and their relatives. As a fifth measure, the Commission plans to increase coordination against disinformation and other forms of hybrid warfare.

Related: Crypto Could Bypass President Biden’s ‘Devastating’ Sanctions on Russian Banks and Elites: Report

As global markets continue to impose new financial restrictions on Russia, a Feb. 24 Cointelegraph report highlights how Russian billionaires could circumvent sanctions imposed by world leaders by using cryptocurrencies.

“If a wealthy person is concerned that their accounts may be frozen due to sanctions, they can simply hold their wealth in Bitcoin to protect themselves from such actions.”

Now that Russian banks are at risk of being banned from SWIFT’s international financial network, cryptocurrencies may hold the key for wealthy people to evade sanctions. Quantum Economics founder and CEO Mati Greenspan said:

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