Washington, DC— Today, Congressman Jim Himes (CT-04) sent a letter to United States Secretary of the Treasury Janet Yellen requesting that the United States work with international partners to block Russia’s access to the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications (SWIFT). 

SWIFT is a secure financial messaging service used by international financial institutions to communicate quickly and efficiently.  Blocking Russia’s access to SWIFT will immediately limit Russia’s ability to transact on an international level, severely limit Russia’s ability to exert influence on the world stage, and significantly disrupt Russia’s economy.

 “We understand that this is one of the most significant measures the U.S. can impose on Russia and will have damaging effects on the global economy,” the letter says in part.  “However, we believe the consequences of failing to respond forcefully to Russian aggression warrant this extreme step. A coordinated response that cuts Russia off from the international banking system will send the message to President Putin and all adversaries that an unprovoked invasion of a sovereign nation has severe consequences.”

For more information, contact Patrick Malone at Patrick.malone@mail.house.gov. The full letter is attached.