Ukrainian economist Alexander Khmelevsky assessed the effectiveness of disconnecting Russia from the international interbank SWIFT payment system, which is possible due to Moscow’s allegedly impending invasion of Ukraine. His forecast was published by the edition “Facts”…
Khmelevsky called the possible disconnection of Russia from SWIFT senseless, since this would not cause significant damage to either the economy or the citizens of the country. In his opinion, a more effective measure would be “a ban for American and European banks to open and maintain correspondent accounts for Russian banks, as well as accounts for enterprises that have Russian owners and Russian citizens.”
In addition, Russian banks are full members of the system, and their exclusion is unlikely. The banking association itself can take such a step only after a joint decision of the EU countries. At the same time, there is no interest in such actions, since Russian banks pay membership fees. In addition, the exchange of information between banks can be built without using SWIFT, the economist noted. So, for this you can use Internet banking.
For Russia, disconnection from SWIFT is a certain image loss, but not economic
It became known on December 7 that the United States and the EU are considering the possibility of imposing sanctions limiting currency exchange in the event of a Russian attack on Ukraine. Restrictions may affect the largest banks in the Russian Federation and the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), as well as the conversion of rubles into dollars and other foreign currencies, including euros and pounds sterling. At the same time, it was noted that banning access to SWIFT would be the most radical solution, but it would harm ordinary citizens.
After that, the former US Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Jan Brzezinski proposed to strike a preemptive strike on Russia by disconnecting it from SWIFT for several days. State Duma deputy Maria Butina called it “nothing more than a provocation or just stupidity.” Vladimir Shapovalov, deputy director of the Institute of History and Politics at Moscow State Pedagogical University, called the proposal Russophobic rhetoric and recalled that the initiative is constantly present in the political discourse of the United States.
Federation Council Senator Vladimir Dzhabarov even noted that it is impossible to disconnect Russia from the global financial system SWIFT, as well as block the country’s debt obligations, since it is one of the largest players in the global economy. If Russia is disconnected from the system, Europe will have to pay the country in cash, which will lead to huge financial difficulties, he added.
In recent weeks, talk that Russia may lose the right to use SWIFT has resumed. The reason for these threats was information about a possible Russian invasion of Ukraine. In particular, it was argued that Moscow plans to attract 100 battalion tactical groups of up to 175 thousand troops to the offensive.
In Russia, accusations of preparation for the attack are denied. Dmitry Peskov, the press secretary of the Russian president, called such reports an information campaign, the purpose of which is to present Moscow as a threat to the settlement process in Ukraine.
Meanwhile, all Belarusian banks have already connected to the System for the Transfer of Financial Messages (SPFS) of the Central Bank of Russia, which was created to prepare for a possible disconnection of the country from the international payment system SWIFT. Russian President Vladimir Putin signed the law on the possibility of connecting foreign financial organizations to the SPFS in 2018. From that moment on, it was mainly joined by participants from the countries of the former USSR.
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