Fact Check: NO Evidence The US Reconnected Russia To SWIFT Banking System


  • Автор: Maria Michela D'Alessandro
Fact Check: NO Evidence The US Reconnected Russia To SWIFT Banking System Never Happened

Did a collapse in the value of the American dollar cause the United States to reconnect Russia to the SWIFT financial messaging system? No, that's not true: Lead Stories found no evidence that the United States or SWIFT has announced such a decision, as of this writing. On February 28, 2022, the United States, European Union, United Kingdom and Canada agreed to levy economic sanctions against Russia in response to its full-scale invasion of Ukraine by removing select Russian banks from the SWIFT messaging system. The video making the claim offered no evidence in support of the assertion.

The claim appeared in this video (archived here), published on TikTok on April, 16, 2023 by the account marakela84_. The account mostly shares content about Russia for Russophone audiences.

This is what the post looked like on TikTok at the time of the writing of this fact check:

Screenshot 2023-04-28 at 10.30.42.png

(Source: TikTok screengrab taken on Fri Apr 28 08:31:37 2023 UTC)

Both the narration and the text-graphics in the 3:20-minute-long video are in Russian. The video opens with the graphic:

США решили вернуть Россию в SWIFT причина кроется в крахе доллара

Translated by Lead Stories into English (original lack of punctuation preserved), the text reads:

The US decided to return Russia to SWIFT the reason lies in the collapse of the dollar

SWIFT stands for the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications, a member-owned cooperative founded in Belgium in 1973 to expedite secure electronic communications about its members' financial transactions. The system, which unites some 11,000 institutions in over 200 countries, essentially acts as the central switchboard for the world's credit-card, trade credit and currency-exchange activities.

Two days after Russia launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022, the European Commission, United States, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy and Canada jointly announced plans to remove "selected" Russian banks from SWIFT as part of economic sanctions against Russia for the invasion. SWIFT cut off the banks on March 12, 2022.

Lead Stories found no publicly available statement on the White House website or on SWIFT's website that the U.S. has now reconsidered this decision and asked for SWIFT to reconnect the banks to its financial messaging system.

A Google search for the video's claim produced no relevant results from credible media organizations.

Although reports about a de-dollarization trend have accelerated in recent weeks amid concerns over the currency's stability and jitters about the war in Ukraine, no "collapse" of the dollar had occurred, as of April 28, 2023, despite state-run Russian media claims to the contrary.

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  Maria Michela D'Alessandro

Maria Michela D'Alessandro is a fact-checker for Lead Stories and a bilingual journalist for Euronews, she’s now resident at the Rome bureau office.

She was born and raised in Rome but studied and worked as a freelancer in Russia, the United States, Germany, Finland, Italy. Her printed and on-air works have been published in The Moscow Times, Al Jazeera, Euronews, The Globe Post, CGTN Europe, La7, Il Caffè Weekly, Il Corriere della Sera. She gained a double master’s degree in international journalism from Free University Berlin and Saint Petersburg State University.

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