Putin urges China to abandon SWIFT

It is necessary to create an independent financial infrastructure to ensure trade operations between Russia and China, said Russian President Vladimir Putin during an online meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

This should be a payment system that could not be influenced by other countries, said Russian presidential aide Yuri Ushakov, adding that this issue is "really being discussed."

According to Ushakov, Putin and Xi Jinping also discussed the increase in the share of national currencies in mutual settlements, which continues to stall, despite 7 years of negotiations at the level of governments and central banks.

The volume of trading in the yuan-ruble pair on the Moscow Exchange is 60-70 billion rubles per quarter - that is, 0.4% of the total volume of export-import operations, which the Russian Central Bank estimates at $ 231 billion ($ 135 billion - exports, $ 96 billion - imports).

There are "deep historical traditions of friendship and mutual understanding" between the Russian and Chinese people, and relations have reached an "unprecedentedly high level," Putin said in an opening speech, as quoted by the Kremlin's press service.

"A new model of cooperation has been formed between our countries, based, among other things, on such principles as non-interference in internal affairs and respect for each other's interests, determination to turn the common border into a border of eternal peace and good-neighborliness," Putin said.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said before the meeting that Putin and Xi Jinping were going to touch on the "very aggressive rhetoric" of NATO countries and the United States, which threaten Russia with disconnection from the SWIFT international system and banning foreign currency transactions in the event of an invasion of Ukraine.

According to Ushakov, Putin asked Xi Jinping to open the market for Russian grain. Last year, 1.8 million tons of grain were exported from Russia to China, but so far only seven Russian regions have the right to export. These are the Krasnoyarsk and Altai Territories, Omsk, Amur, Chelyabinsk, Novosibirsk and Kurgan regions.

Russia seeks similar rights for other regions. But in the negotiations with Xi Jinping, there was no firm decision about this.

"This issue will be studied, and an answer will be given through the relevant departments," Ushakov said.

  Putin, Xi Jinping, China, Russia

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