Russia’s SWIFT alternative SPFS gaining traction

In a significant development that marks the de-dollarization in the global economy, Russia’s finance ministry said, Moscow has called on the BRICS countries to extend the use of national currencies and integrate payment systems.

Western sanctions have weighed down the Russian economy and have largely cut it off from the global financial system.

Earlier last week, Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov told a ministerial meeting with BRICS, that the global economic situation had worsened substantially due to sanctions.

“The new sanctions also destroy the foundation of the existing international monetary and financial system based on the U.S. dollar,” said Siluanov.

He went on to add, “This pushes us to the need to speed up work in the following areas: the use of national currencies for export-import operations, the integration of payment systems and cards, our own financial messaging system and the creation of an independent BRICS rating agency”.

Some of Russia’s biggest banks have been removed from the SWIFT global banking messaging system.

The IMF has warned US sanctions could lead to a self goal since it would further spur the development of alternatives to SWIF.

Russia has already set up its own banking messaging system, known as SPFS, a SWIFT alternative.

In 2015, Russia deployed its own card payment system MIR, to protect itself from US led sanctions.

BRICS ministers have re-affirmed the importance of cooperation in efforts to stabilise the current economic situation.

“The current crisis is man-made, and the BRICS countries have all necessary tools to mitigate its consequences for their economies and the global economy as a whole,” said Siluanov.

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