After being kicked out of the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) payment system by Western countries, Russia has actively cooperated with China to find alternatives to SWIFT, including Russia’s self-built system SPFS, blockchain solutions and digital fiat.
With Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, Western countries have imposed a series of sanctions on Russia, including kicking Russia out of SWIFT and trying to isolate Russia from the international financial system.
Russia’s largest bank Sberbank (Federal Sberbank) issued a statement on its Telegram on Friday that due to sanctions, from March 18, the list of currencies that can be used for transfers to other banks in Russia and abroad will be restricted. Transfers CAD, GBP, DKK and SEK to other banks.
Russia’s second-largest bank VTB said on Friday it would hand over foreign securities services to other Russian financial firms, allowing investors to buy and sell assets without restrictions.
Russian MP Anatoly Aksakov revealed that the Central Bank of Russia is working with the Central Bank of China to study interoperability solutions, planning to link Russia’s Financial Messaging System (SPFS) with China’s RMB Cross-Border Payment System (CIPS).
Aksakov said: “In order to eliminate the risks associated with transactions without banking information system solutions, it is necessary to interconnect SPFS and CIPS… This work is in progress, the Central Bank of Russia is interacting with the People’s Bank of China, I believe the current situation will speed up the process.”
Aksakov also mentioned that China and Russia are also accelerating the development of blockchain-related financial measures and central bank digital currencies (CBDCs), including digital rubles and digital yuan.
Republicans in the U.S. Congress have introduced a new bill on Thursday (17th), the CURB CIPS Act. If China assists Russia in evading financial sanctions from the international community, it will face corresponding sanctions.