World leaders have banned several Russian banks from SWIFT, which is a global system that connects thousands of financial institutions all over the world, but remain divided on carrying out the penalty.

“It doesn’t move the money, but it moves the information about the money,” Alexandra Vacroux, executive director of the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies at Harvard University, told NPR.

This will immediately affect the country’s economy. In the long run, it will block Russia from participating in international financial transactions, which would hurt Russia because 40% of its revenue comes from international sales of oil and gas. However, the move would also affect other countries.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky asked the U.S. and their allies to ban Russia from SWIFT, but the world leaders could not reach unanimity.

Former Vice President Mike Pence urged President Joe Biden to release more devastating sanctions on Russia on Friday and favored sanctioning “the entire financial sector,” which would include banning Russia from SWIFT.

“The fact that we have not yet imposed the level of punitive sanctions that would be required not just to stop Putin’s advance but to get the Russians to ultimately withdraw from Ukraine is incomprehensible to me,” Pence said in an interview on Fox News before the move was announced/

“We’ve intentionally scoped our sanctions to deliver severe impact on the Russian economy while minimizing the cost to the U.S., as well as our allies and partners,” deputy national security adviser Daleep Singh told reporters on Thursday. “To be clear: Our sanctions are not designed to cause any disruption to the current flow of energy from Russia to the world.”

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