The scenario of disconnecting Russia from the international system for transferring interbank payments SWIFT is still considered hypothetical. This was stated on Monday, May 3, by the official representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Maria Zakharova
“Nevertheless, an interdepartmental study is underway to minimize risks and economic damage from restricting our country’s access to the usual international financial instruments and payment mechanisms,” she said in an interview with RT.
As an example of alternative instruments, Zakharova cited the “System for the transmission of financial messages” of the Central Bank. According to her, they are now discussing options for pairing it with foreign counterparts – European SEPA, Iranian SEPAM, Chinese CUP and CIPS.
In addition, the representative of the Foreign Ministry spoke about the development of cooperation between the Russian MIR system and foreign counterparts – Chinese Union Pay, Japanese JCB and international Maestro.
At the same time, Zakharova drew attention to the fact that this is a rather long-term and laborious process.
On April 29, the press secretary of the Russian president, Dmitry Peskov, noted that the country would quickly find an alternative to SWIFT if it showed its unreliability. The Kremlin spokesman stressed that it is time for other states to understand that Russia is a self-sufficient and strong country.
On April 28, the European Parliament published a draft resolution proposing to disconnect Russia from the international SWIFT system and abandon oil and gas “if the aggression in Ukraine continues.”
On April 22, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba called on the EU to consider the possibility of “disconnecting Russia” from SWIFT. According to him, this measure could be included in a new package of anti-Russian sanctions in the event of an escalation of the situation in eastern Ukraine.
The Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications (SWIFT) is an international interbank system for data transmission and payments, to which more than 11 thousand of the largest organizations are connected in almost all countries of the world.