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Russia to be aware of risk to be cut off SWIFT inter-bank system, Medvedev says

September 19, 2014, 21:21 UTC+3 SOCHI
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SOCHI, September 19 /ITAR-TASS/. Russia will be aware of economic and political risks linked to a possibility of being cut off the Swift inter-bank financial message system together with its other partners, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said at a meeting with Russian business circles on Friday.

“When this kind of pressure is being exerted and when we are being threatened to be cut off SWIFT or anything else - it means a different financial system. There is no doubt that we and other G-20 partners will take that into account both in the field of economic and political relations,” the Russian prime minister said.

European Parliament called on the European Union to cut Russia off the SWIFT inter-bank financial system at its plenary session on Thursday. SWIFT said in a statement, also published on Thursday, that the European Parliament’s recommendations were violating the company’s rules and that the EU possible actions could cause huge damage to the company’s reputation.

In late August 2014, media reports said the UK had proposed banning Russia from the SWIFT network as part of an upcoming new round of sanctions against Moscow over its stance on developments in neighboring Ukraine. However, this proposal was not supported by the EU countries.

Russian Deputy Finance Minister Alexei Moiseyev said in late August Russia’s government had already drafted a bill to create a local alternative to the SWIFT payment system.

The European Parliament’s recommendations, however, will not have any special consequences because it is not a guide to action for the EU governments. At the same time, the document reflects the general atmosphere in Europe, which should be borne in mind.

SWIFT, which wants to be a global and neutral supplier of financial services, noted, however, that the European Parliament resolution containing a call to cut Russia off SWIFT had not affected its work with Russian companies as of yet.

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