Russia Plans to Decouple from the Dollar Euro, and Swift System

Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Pankin recently announced that the country has plans of moving away from the dollar, euro, and SWIFT systems for all commercial and investment relations with partners. 

According to a Press TV report, Pankin said that this move is being made because the aforementioned currencies have become “toxic.” 

This announcement is part of Russia’s new strategy to decouple from the West, which was heavily sanctioned after it launched its special military operation against Ukraine on February 24, 2022. 

“Against the growing geopolitical pressure from the ‘collective West’, the only way to guarantee stable trade, economic, and investment ties between Russia and its partners is to avoid the use of currencies that have become ‘toxic’, primarily the US dollar and the euro, and switch to settlements in acceptable alternatives, primarily in national currencies,” Pankin said during an interview with Russian-state media outlet TASS.

Pankin believes the United States-dominated  global financial system is “unsuitable for the conditions of a multipolar world order and has essentially become an instrument for achieving political goals of one group of countries.”

“It is quite obvious that in the current conditions the West intends to continue to abuse its privileged position,” Pankin added. 

Pankin noted that the Bank of Russia is currently building the Financial Message Transmission System as an alternative to the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT), a large messaging network banks and other financial institutions turn to quickly send money transfer instructions. SWIFT is used by over 200 countries for financial messaging. 

“We proceed from the need for a gradual transition from SWIFT to financial information transfer mechanisms protected from external pressure, for which we are actively developing the System for Transfer of Financial Messages (SPFS) of the Bank of Russia. This is a forced, but completely natural decision in an environment where Russian banks and their clients regularly encounter problems with routine international payments.”

Since the special military operation was kicked off in Ukraine, international card payment systems blocked all Russian clients in an effort to effectively debank and deplatform the country from the international system. 

Press TV noted that “Moscow is negotiating with countries such as Azerbaijan, China and Egypt over the use of Mir payment card system” to build an alternative payment system. 

A new international system is unfolding before our very eyes. It’s anyone’s guess what it will look like once the dust settles. 

One thing is certain: The US government can no longer throw its weight around the world like it could during the unipolar world of the 1990s. Hopefully, US policymakers come to grips with this reality and pursue rational policies of foreign policy retrenchment. 

Instead, the US should be focusing on its domestic affairs — securing its border and putting the administrative state on a crash diet, for example. This is far more important than getting caught up in geopolitical intrigue in Eurasia.

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