Economic sanctions placed on Russia due to its invasion of Ukraine have begun to affect Vincentian students pursuing studies in the Russian Federation.
The information was made public on Sunday by Keisal Peters, Minister of State with Responsibility for Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade.
“I have received the concern that has been raised by at least two students, that the sanctions may now affect their ability to receive funds”.
“We are currently discussing with the Russian Ambassador alternative means, to assist our students”.
The EU, U.S., Canada, and the UK, among others, agreed on February 26, 2022, to ban select Russian banks from the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications (SWIFT) international payment messaging system.
Western Union has suspended its operation in Russia across all channels, effective March 24, 2022, while Money Gram broke its services in Russia due to the war against Ukraine.2
The US money transfer system said on March 11 that it hoped for a “peaceful resolution to protect civilians across all impacted regions.”
On Sunday, April 3, Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves said that on Friday, April 1, he received communication that suggested a Vincentian student in Russia may be interested in coming home.
“I give instructions to find out the circumstances, but up to that point, we have had no queries, no problems, and as you (Peters) rightly said, the issue is how people could receive money”.
Gonsalves confirmed Peters’s statement that St Vincent is in discussion with the Russian Ambassador in Guyana responsible for SVG – Russia relations.
Gonsalves said that St Vincent and the Grenadines also have students in Romania.
On Sunday, April 3, some European Union governments were pushing for the bloc to quickly impose new sanctions in response to multiple reports that Russian troops executed unarmed civilians in Ukrainian towns, according to diplomats familiar with the discussions.