Poland welcomes Germany's decision to expel Russia from banking platform
Andrzej Duda, the Polish president, has said that Germany's agreement to block Russia's access to the Swift international payment system is "an important step in stopping Russian aggression."
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said on Sunday that the system will be disconnected for all Russian banks due to the Russian aggression against Ukraine. This marks a policy change made under pressure from other EU countries, including Poland, as Germany initially was not a supporter of the tough economic sanction regarded as one of the strongest in the world.
"Today's address by (German) Chancellor Olaf Scholz in the Bundestag and the decision to offer help to Ukraine and to block the Swift system and Russian banks is an important step towards stopping the Russian aggression," the Polish president wrote on Twitter on Sunday.
"Only by acting together and showing unity can we stop (Russian President Vladimir) Putin's imperial ambitions and war in a peaceful way," Duda added.
Speaking at a press conference on Sunday, Polish government spokesman Piotr Mueller pointed out that the Polish prime minister, Mateusz Morawiecki, had made the case for Swift disconnection at a Saturday meeting with Scholz.
"We received good news today and yesterday evening that the consent to cut off access to the Swift system has finally been given," Mueller said, adding that the system "allows the financing of Russia and the operation of its economy."
"There is also good news that Germany finally decided to send first supplies of weapons to Ukraine," Mueller added.
Scholz also said on Sunday that Germany will increase its defence spending to over 2 percent of the country's GDP, a level consider as a minimum by Nato.
Mueller commented that Morawiecki had argued for increased defence spending in Europe in his talks with Scholz. "Fortunately, such declarations are being made today as well," he added.
Mueller also expressed hope that Germany will reconsider its gas pipeline project with Russia, the Nord Stream 1 and the newly-built Nord Stream 2. Germany suspended the opening of the latter pipeline after Russia invaded Ukraine.
Russia attacked Ukraine from three directions on Thursday but the Kremlin's plans of a fast-tracked conquest and replacement of the Ukrainian government with a puppet regime loyal to Moscow has failed so far as Russian forces met with fierce Ukrainian resistance.