Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Russian Finance Minister announces Moscow is ready to disconnect from the dollar if U.S. decides to cut them off from SWIFT system

To say that Russia has been severely harmed by the implementation of economic sanctions by the U.S. ever since the spring of 2014 is more propaganda than fact.  Yes it is true that Moscow has had to adjust to the loss of trade partners in Europe, but in the end they very quickly found alternative partners able to pick up the slack.

Yet more importantly, the sanctions forced Russia to realize that the unipolar reserve currency system no longer functioned as a neutral platform for global payments and transactions and instead had become a weapon for U.S. foreign policy.  And in this realization several nations, and in particular Russia and China, began a concerted effort to create their own alternative platforms which would not only allow them to function if the U.S. decided to cut them off from SWIFT, but to provide an alternative to any other country who were either hit themselves by sanctions, or wanted to bypass the dollar system in order to move towards use of their own currencies in bi-lateral trade.

And now on Feb. 13, a Russian Deputy Finance Minister announced that Russia was fully prepared to disconnect from all use of the dollar should the U.S. ever choose to cut them off from the SWIFT system.

Russian financial institutions and firms are ready to work without SWIFT's interbank cash transfer services, according to Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich. 
“Certainly, it is unpleasant, as it will prove a stumbling block for companies and banks, and will slow down work. It will be inevitable to deploy some aged technologies for information transfer and calculations. However, the companies are technically and psychologically ready for the shutdown as this threat was repeatedly voiced,” Dvorkovich said, as quoted by TASS. 
He added that the measure may have a negative impact on corporations working in the US and Europe. 
“In general, disconnecting Russia from SWIFT would be a crazy step on the part of our Western partners. It is obvious that for the companies which work in Europe and the US it would be harmful. And this applies not only to the shutdown of the service,” he said.
The potential disconnection of Russia from SWIFT has been under discussion since 2014, when the EU and the US introduced the first round of international penalties against Moscow over alleged involvement in the Ukraine crisis and the reunification with Crimea. 
In 2017, Russia’s Central Bank Governor Elvira Nabiullina told President Vladimir Putin that the banking sector had been provided with all the necessary conditions for operating lenders and payment systems in case of disconnection from SWIFT. According to the regulator, 90 percent of ATMs in Russia were ready to accept the Mir payment system, a domestic version of Visa and MasterCard. – Russia Today


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