ANKARA, July 13. /TASS/. The EU authorities can reconnect the Russian Agricultural Bank to the SWIFT system, but only to make payments under the grain deal, a source in the Turkish banking sector told TASS on Thursday.
"It is possible that the EU may issue a general license to the Russian Agricultural Bank, disconnected from SWIFT in June 2022, so that it can be connected to this system again and only for agricultural payments," the source said.
He noted that the Russian Agricultural Bank "has the opportunity to use JP Morgan to conduct transactions in US dollars" as part of the grain deal.
"The UK can also issue its general license to make payments in pounds sterling for the same purpose. However, such decisions are made by these specific states through their own banking authorities. Without this, any steps in this area taken by a third country will be a violation of existing sanctions," the source said commenting on the theoretical possibility of Turkey or another state to work with the Russian Agricultural Bank in the current conditions.
On June 3, 2022, the EU Council finally adopted the sixth package of sanctions against Russia, which involves disconnecting a number of Russian banks from SWIFT, including the Russian Agricultural Bank. The reconnection of this bank to SWIFT is one of Russia’s requirements in the context of the execution of the grain deal, which, however, still remains unfulfilled. Sources in the European Union, according to Reuters, claim that the EU is considering the possibility of connecting a subsidiary of the Russian Agricultural Bank to SWIFT.
However, the first deputy chairman of the Russian Agricultural Bank, Kirill Levin, said earlier that the bank is not considering the option of creating a subsidiary to connect to this payment system as part of the grain deal. The Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova, also denied this information, emphasizing that connecting a subsidiary of the Russian Agricultural Bank to SWIFT is "obviously impassable.".