Russia is working to minimize damage in the event it loses access to international financial instruments, but, for now, the Kremlin considers the possibility of being disconnected from the SWIFT interbank payment system as hypothetical, stated the Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova in an interview with RT.
"The possibility of being disconnected from SWIFT is still considered as hypothetical. Nevertheless, inter-minsistry work is underway to minimize the risks and economic damage if our country’s access to the usual international financial instruments and payment mechanisms is limited. The Financial Messaging System of the Bank of Russia is an example of such alternative instruments. At the moment, options for its pairing with foreign counterparts - European SEPA, Iranian SEPAM, Chinese CUP and CIPS, are being discussed," she said.
Zakharova pointed out that cooperation between the Russian payment system "Mir" and foreign counterparts, in particular, the Chinese UnionPay, the Japanese JCB and the international Maestro are developing. These payments providers operate both in Russia and abroad. However, it is too early to talk about the specific timing for the completion of a comprehensive national toolkit for payment transactions and its promotion to international markets, as this is a lengthy and time-consuming process.
"In parallel, Russia is actively exploring the opportunities provided by modern digital technologies, the potential of their use to increase the stability and independence of the national financial system and means of payment, with the clear understanding that digital money can in the future become the foundation of the updated international financial system and cross-border settlement operations," the Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman concluded.
Earlier, the European Parliament adopted a resolution calling for sanctions against Nord Stream 2, the Russian Nuclear Agency, Rosatom, Russian oligarchs and Russia’s disconnection from the international payment system SWIFT in case of "invasion of Ukraine." 569 MEPs out of 682 supported the resolution at the EU Parliament’s session in Brussels on April 29.