In Russia, interdepartmental preparations are underway in case the country is disconnected from the international payment system SWIFT. This was announced on Monday, May 3, by the official representative of the Russian Foreign Ministry, Maria Zakharova, in an interview with RT.
“The scenario of disconnecting Russia from SWIFT is still considered hypothetical. 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.
As an example of alternative instruments, the diplomat named the “System of transmission of financial messages” of the Bank of Russia. According to Zakharova, options for pairing it with foreign analogues of SWIFT, such as the European SEPA, Iranian SEPAM, Chinese CUP and CIPS, are currently being discussed.
In addition, Zakharova recalled the progressing cooperation between the Russian MIR system and foreign counterparts, in particular, the Chinese Union Pay, the Japanese JCB and the international Maestro.
“Such co-branded cards work both in Russia and abroad. In particular, various operations on them are already available in Armenia, Abkhazia, South Ossetia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Turkey, ”said the representative of the Russian Foreign Ministry.
Nevertheless, Zakharova pointed out that the development of such financial instruments is a long-term and labor-intensive process, therefore “it is still premature to speak about any specific dates in terms of completing the creation of a comprehensive national instrument for the implementation of payment transactions and its promotion to international markets.”
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.