Russia has alternatives to SWIFT: Central Bank
Countering the Western sanctions on Moscow, the Bank of Russia is offering its systems to its banks as an alternative to SWIFT.
Russian banks can use the financial messaging system of the Bank of Russia (FMS) to transfer information within the federation, and they are able to use other channels for international transferring in isolation from the SWIFT system, the Bank of Russia said Wednesday as sanctions mount against Moscow.
The European Union had announced that it made the decision to disconnect a wide array of Russian banks from SWIFT, seven, to be exact.
The banks, VTB BANK, Bank Otkritie, Novikombank, Promsvyazbank, Bank Rossiya, Sovcombank, and Vnesheconomban, would not be able to transmit financial information to counterparties on domestic transactions and international transactions.
However, the Central Bank of Russia said it was allowing the aforementioned banks to use its messaging system, which allows for an exchange of information, including in SWIFT format.
As of now, up to 340 users are connected to the FMS, including 39 foreign participants from nine countries, the central bank underlined.
According to the Bank of Russia, banks are actively using its system, with a surging number of transactions.
"In addition, banks have other channels of interaction with their foreign correspondents, including their own," it added.
The West disconnecting the Russian banks from the SWIFT system is part of its pressure on Moscow in light of the Russian special operation in Ukraine over NATO's eastward expansion.
Russia had for months been warning of the threat posed against it by NATO's attempts to expand eastward, which happened simultaneously with an increase in NATO military activity along Russia's borders, and batches of lethal weapons being sent to Ukraine, prompting Russia to request security guarantees from the West. Washington failed to provide the guarantees.
After the West did not respond to Russia's demands, and amid Ukrainian shelling on the Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics, President Vladimir Putin initiated a special military operation in Donbass.
To counter the Russian de-Nazification of Ukraine, the West imposed harsh sanctions on Russia, which affected many economic sectors, not only in Russia, but the whole world.