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Western nations have agreed to unleash new sanctions to further isolate Russia’s economy and financial system after initial penalties failed to persuade President Vladimir Putin to withdraw his forces from Ukraine.

A decision to penalise Russia’s central bank and exclude Russian banks from the Swift messaging system, used for trillions of dollars worth of transactions around the world, was announced on Saturday in a joint statement by the US, European Commission, France, Germany, Italy, UK and Canada. ..

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