The official representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, Maria Zakharova, spoke about the scenario of the conditional disconnection of Russia from the international system for transferring interbank payments SWIFT and indicated that at the moment there is a process of interdepartmental elaboration in terms of minimizing risks and economic damage in case of restricting the country’s access to this system. She announced this in her interview to the RT channel, published on Monday, May 3.
“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, ”said Maria Zakharova.
The representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation indicated that an example of an alternative to SWIFT could be the Bank of Russia Financial Messaging System, and that options for pairing this system with a number of foreign counterparts such as SEPA, SEPAM, CUP and CIPS are being discussed. Moreover, other foreign analogues of payment systems such as the Chinese Union Pay, the Japanese JCB and the international Maestro are actively developing their cooperation with the domestic MIR system.
Zakharova added that it is too early to talk about the timing of the completion of the creation and promotion of a comprehensive national toolkit on the implementation of payment transactions, since this process is very laborious and long-term.
On Thursday, April 29, the press secretary of the Russian President Dmitry Peskov announced that Russia could quickly identify an alternative to the international payment system SWIFT in case of its unreliability.
On the same day, May 3, the official representative of the Russian Foreign Ministry, Maria Zakharova, described the sanctions pressure from the West as a “gesture of despair.” According to her, these measures are due to the inability of the local elites to exist in the new realities, to recognize the right of Russia to an individual path of development and to abandon the stereotypes of “bloc thinking”.