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Securing financial flows to circumvent sanctions should be blocked

"Depriving the regime of the ability to secure financial flows to circumvent sanctions is paramount for the United Transitional Cabinet of Belarus and for NAM," stated Pavel Latushka. "We are hopeful that this decision will significantly curtail the regime's financial capacity to evade sanctions and fund its continued participation in the war."

This statement comes as Bloomberg reveals, through its sources, that G7 nations are poised to strengthen sanctions targeting banks that aid Russia in circumventing existing restrictions. Their strategy focuses on the Bank of Russia Financial Message Transmission System (SPFS), Russia's counterpart to the international SWIFT payment system.

Bloomberg further reported in early May that the EU is contemplating a ban on SPFS within its borders as part of its 14th sanctions package against Russia. These developments are significant as they stem, in part, from proposals put forward by the United Transitional Cabinet and NAM.

The issue of sanctions evasion was a key topic during a meeting between Pavel Latushka and EU Special Envoy on Sanctions, David O’Sullivan, in Brussels on December 11, 2023. During this meeting, Latushka highlighted the problem of circumventing sanctions—including those against Russia—through Belarusian banks, banks in third countries, and the SPFS.

Recognizing the gravity of this issue, O'Sullivan requested further information. On January 17, 2024, the United Transitional Cabinet provided additional analytical materials detailing the SPFS and its role within the sanctions evasion infrastructure. This information was also shared with partners in Germany, France, Poland, and other EU member states.

Furthermore, the United Transitional Cabinet has consistently raised concerns about sanctions circumvention facilitated by Belarus' banking system and the SPFS. This issue has been raised in letters to diplomatic missions and the US State Department. Most notably, a letter dated September 17, 2023, addressed to US State Department sanctions coordinator, James O'Brien, and Michael McFaul, a representative of the international working group on sanctions against Russia, highlighted these concerns. The issue has also been a focal point during personal meetings with American diplomats and officials, including discussions within the strategic dialogue framework between Belarusian democratic forces and the United States.



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