Russia may be cut off from SWIFT following West's sanctions

Friday 4 June 2021 12:27 CET | News

Russia’s foreign ministry has warned that Russia-based banks may be blocked from using SWIFT as part of restrictions against Moscow, according to Russia Today.

A government official noted that Russia has concerns that SWIFT could get caught up in a ‘spiral of sanctions’ led by Washington. However, the senior official doesn't think America will act on this threat any time soon, noting that Russia would be able to come to payment agreements with their trading partners anyway. Since 2014, Russia has been working on its own payment system, he explained. Russia uses the MIR card that is reportedly also accepted in a number of neighbouring countries and in Turkey. Negotiations are also underway with other partners, the official stated.

In March 2021, politicians from the European Parliament voted in favour of a resolution to condemn what they called Russia's ‘military posturing close to the country's border with Ukraine’. The MEPs agreed that, ‘should military build-up lead to an invasion’, Moscow should be excluded from SWIFT, along with other economic measures. Proposals to cut Moscow off from the world's leading international payment system are not new. After seven years of threats, Russia is now in a position where losing access to SWIFT would no longer be a disastrous blow. The country has created its own alternative, called SPFS, which works domestically, and Moscow is looking to expand the system internationally, says Russia Today.

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Keywords: SWIFT, banks
Categories: Banking & Fintech
Countries: Russian Federation
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