While nations around the world continue to de-dollarize, Russia signed into law its anti-crisis plan today (though details will not be released until tomorrow). Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, however, was quite vociferous in some of his threats, warning The West that the “Russian response – economically and otherwise – will know no limits” if Russia is cut off from the SWIFT payments system. Additionally, as Royce, the chairman of the House foreign affairs committee, explains Iran nuclear talks “appear to be stalemated,” just days after Iran completes its de-dollarization and news today, that Russia and Iran plan to create a mutual account for bilateral payments in national currencies.
Western countries’ threats to restrict Russia’s operations through the SWIFT international bank transaction system will prompt Russia’s counter-response without limits, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said on Tuesday.
“We’ll watch developments and if such decisions are made, I want to note that our economic reaction and generally any other reaction will be without limits,” he said.
In late August 2014, media reports said the UK had proposed banning Russia from the SWIFT network as part of an upcoming new round of sanctions against Moscow over its stance on developments in neighboring Ukraine. However, this proposal was not supported by the EU countries at the time.
After recent shelling of the Ukrainian city of Mariupol some western countries again started calling to disconnect Russia from SWIFT.
SWIFT transaction system
The Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications (SWIFT) transmits 1.8 billion transactions a year, remitting payment orders worth $6 trillion a day. The system comprises over 10,000 financial organizations from 210 countries.
Under the SWIFT charter, groups of members and users are set up in each country covered by the system. In Russia, these groups are united in the RosSWIFT association.
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Russia intends to have its own international inter-bank system up and running by May 2015. The Central of Russia says it needs to speed up preparations for its version of SWIFT in case of possible ”challenges” from the West.
“Given the challenges, Bank of Russia is creating its own system for transmitting financial messaging… It’s time to hurry up, so in the next few months we will have certain work done. The entire project for transmitting financial messages will be completed in May 2015,” said Ramilya Kanafina, deputy head of the national payment system department at the Central Bank of Russia (CBR).
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As Reuters reports, Russia’s isolation appears to be shrinking…
Russia and Iran plan to create a mutual account for bilateral payments in national currencies, RIA news agency quoted Mehdi Sanaei, Iran’s ambassador to Moscow, as saying.
“Both sides plan to create a mutual bank or a mutual account to make payments in rials and roubles possible,” the ambassador said.
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