Foreign Banks Are Embracing Russia’s Alternative To SWIFT, Moscow Says

Via Zerohedge

On Friday, one day after Russia and China pledged to reduce their reliance on the dollar by increasing the amount of bilateral trade conducted in rubles and yuan (a goal toward which much progress has already been made over the past three years), Russia’s Central Bank provided the latest update on Moscow’s alternative to US-dominated international payments network SWIFT.

Moscow started working on the project back in 2014, when international sanctions over Russia’s annexation of Crimea inspired fears that the country’s largest banks would soon be cut off from SWIFT which, though it’s based in Belgium and claims to be politically neutral, is effectively controlled by the US Treasury.

Today, the Russian alternative, known as the System for Transfer of Financial Messages, has attracted a modest amount of support within the Russian business community, with 416 Russian companies having joined as of September, including the Russian Federal Treasury and large state corporations likeGazprom Neft and Rosneft.

And now, eight months after a senior Russian official advised that “our banks are ready to turn off SWIFT,” it appears the system has reached another milestone in its development: It’s ready to take on international partners in the quest to de-dollarize and end the US’s leverage over the international financial system. A Russian official advised that non-residents will begin joining the system “this year,” according to RT.

“Non-residents will start connecting to us this year. People are already turning to us,”said First Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Russia Olga Skorobogatova. Earlier, the official said that by using the alternative payment system foreign firms would be able to do business with sanctioned Russian companies.

Turkey, China, India and others are among the countries that might be interested in a SWIFT alternative, as Russian President Vladimir Putin pointed out in a speech earlier this month, the US’s willingness to blithely sanction countries from Iran to Venezuela and beyond will eventually rebound on the US economy by undermining the dollar’s status as the world’s reserve currency.

To be sure, the Russians aren’t the only ones building a SWIFT alternative to help avoid US sanctions. Russia and China, along with the European Union are launching an interbank payments network known as the Special Purpose Vehicle to help companies pursue “legitimate business with Iran” in defiance of US sanctions.

Given its status as a major energy exporter, Russia has leverage that could help attract partners to its new SWIFT alternative. For one, much of Europe is dependent on Russian natural gas and oil.

And as Russian trade with other US rivals increases, Moscow’s payments network will look increasingly attractive,particularly if buyers of Russian crude have no other alternatives to pay for their goods.

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Raymond Comeau
Raymond Comeau
October 21, 2018

Congratulations to Russia, China, and any others who defy the crooked USA paper Dollars.

Vince Dhimos
October 21, 2018

I do believe that foreign banks are interested in Russia’s alternative to SWIFT, but the article only says that the EU is interested in using the Special Purpose Vehicle. I was disappointed by the text, which did not name a single foreign bank that wanted to use the older Russian alternative to SWIFT. Let’s keep headlines real, please.

October 21, 2018

I think that now ,maybe , the US administration will start talking to Russia with respect and as an equal . Anything that affects the dollar tends to have a very loud voice and this time they know that they can’t just barge in and bully .It has not worked and it will not work .I can hear the swirling of the drain , can they?

October 21, 2018

Since the United States has an Artificial Economy with no hard currency such as Gold or Silver to back it it but the use of other countries money and their Gold to prop up the US Artificial Economy, this move will kill the US Economy completely.

G George
G George
October 21, 2018

If the US economy could be destroyed that would prevent future wars as the US would have no money with which to wage them.

Cheryl Brandon
Cheryl Brandon
October 22, 2018

Va Va Voom Russia, let’s make the alternative Swift a reality; Let’s work real fast. The world needs to get off their addiction to USD’s.No advanced Nation Sate should be slave to one Fiat currency/I say NO.DUMP THE DOLLAR ASAP

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