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Russia Will Use ‘Other Possibilities’ to Transfer Financial Information If Banned From SWIFT

© Sputnik / Ilya Pitalev / Go to the mediabankCentral Bank of Russia
Central Bank of Russia - Sputnik International, 1920, 16.02.2022
Last week, Western media claimed that the US and its European allies are finalising sanctions targeting major Russian banks should the Ukraine situation escalate, but said that banning Russia from the SWIFT financial system is off the table.
Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov has told reporters that if banned from the SWIFT payment system, Moscow will switch to other mechanisms of transmitting financial information.
“On SWIFT, according to the latest information from the Western parties, they themselves understand the absurdity of the situation: we will suffer, but they will be damaged too. If they want to suffer, so that we can suffer together, then the step is justified. I’ve read the information that the question of [banning Russia from] SWIFT has been postponed, although nothing is impossible. We see their decisions being reviewed quite often”, Siluanov said.
He made it clear that if such a ban is introduced, Russia will use “other possibilities for transferring information, including SPFS [financial messaging system], teletypes or carrying bills in suitcases, but I am exaggerating, of course”.
Siluanov was referring to the Central Bank's system, which was created in response to the risks of a possible disconnection of Russian banks from SWIFT.
His remarks come a few days after Reuters cited US and European Union officials as saying that Washington and its European partners are wrapping up an extensive package of penalties against Moscow should the Ukraine tensions aggravate.
The officials argued that the sanctions could target major Russian banks, but that they do not include banning Russia from the SWIFT system.
The claims come amid ongoing Western media reports about Russia’s “imminent invasion” of Ukraine, with some newspapers, including The Sun and The Mirror, even publishing the exact dates of Moscow’s “attack” against Ukraine.
Russia vehemently rejects the allegation, dubbing it a pretext for NATO to deploy more troops and military equipment closer to the Russian border.
Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, for his part, underlined that the "propaganda campaign" about "Russian aggression" against Ukraine has provocative purposes, and encourages "the authorities in Kiev to sabotage the Minsk [peace] agreements and pernicious attempts to resolve the 'Donbass problems' by force".
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