Russian MFA: We Do Not Yet Have a Complete Replacement for SWIFT

Russia is still unable to completely replace the international financial settlement system SWIFT, and the threat of disconnection from SWIFT remains, the director of the Department of Economic Cooperation of the Russian Foreign Ministry Dmitry Birichevsky told RIA Novosti.

Since 2014, the United States has threatened Russia to disconnect it from the system, and China has received such threats, too.

In April 2021, the European Parliament proposed to abandon Russian gas and disconnect Russia from SWIFT. Russia is creating an analog of such a system, but this is a long process, and there is no time limit for its completion.

“I think that this work will continue for a very long time, and there is no such goal to complete it as quickly as possible,” the diplomat said.

Russia will use other systems if the country is disconnected from the international payment platform SWIFT, Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Pankin said earlier.

So, in Russia, a system for the transfer of financial messages (SPFS) was created in 2014 for settlements within the country. Foreign banks are also connected to this system. Now over 80% of settlements in the country are accompanied by SPFS, as this system could partially replace SWIFT.

“We are working with partners. The process is more advanced with someone, negotiations have just begun with someone. Therefore, we will continue to do this systematically. This work is permanent, you should not expect that in a year or two it will end,” he explained Birichevsky.

The EAEU and BRICS countries are expanding the use of their national systems for mutual settlements. “The danger of disconnecting us from SWIFT is not yet visible. So far, no one is ready for it, everyone will only lose from this,” the diplomat said.

SWIFT is a private European company that operates an interbank information transfer and payment system. Around 11 thousand of the biggest organizations in more than 200 countries are connected to the SWIFT network.