The Russian economy is ready to work without being connected to the SWIFT international bank transfer system, stated Russian Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovych at the World Economic Forum in Davos.
“It can work without SWIFT, at some point SWIFT did not exist. Of course, all of this is a little slower and not as effective, but it can work,” Dvorkovych said, as cited by TASS and RIA Novosti.
He added that the Russian government hopes that there will be no disconnection from SWIFT, because that would “really” be “aggression”.
If it does still happen, Russia has “possible response steps” it could take in response to such a tightening of the sanctions, the deputy prime minister observed.
The Russian financial system is ready for possible disconnection from SWIFT, Central Bank head Elvira Nabiullina said in March 2017 at a meeting with President Vladimir Putin.
“There have been threats that we may be disconnected from SWIFT. We have developed our own payment system, and if something happens, all operations in the SWIFT format within the country will work, we have created an equivalent,” the head of the Central Bank said.
She mentioned that external negative factors had revealed the vulnerability of the banking infrastructure in Russia. After this, the processing of foreign payments was relocated to Russia. “More than 90% of ATMs and payment terminals are already ready to accept our own ‘Mir’ cards,” Nabiullina remarked.