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Russia should not be disconnected from SWIFT for political reasons — Chinese expert

March 02, 2015, 9:45 UTC+3 BEIJING
The expert compared SWIFT to the Internet saying the US created the worldwide web but doesn't own it anymore
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Headquarters of the SWIFT (archive) in Brussels

Headquarters of the SWIFT (archive) in Brussels

© AP Photo/Christian Weidemann, Ricardo Bofill Taller de Arquitectura

BEIJING, March 2. /TASS/. Disconnecting Russia from SWIFT payment transfer system should not be justified by political reasons and may lead to creating alternative payment systems, one of China’s leading finance experts He Ping told TASS on Monday.

"If Russia is disconnected from the [SWIFT] payment system, this will lead to different negative consequences which are hard to predict," the expert said. Russia is integrated into global economic system, and disconnecting the country from SWIFT will create disruptions in the movement of finances, He said. It will also "deal a tremendous blow" to SWIFT’s reputation, he added.

The expert noted that SWIFT occupies a monopoly position at the global financial market, and it should not be "misused." "This system was created to fulfill economic goals, not political. That is why a decision to disconnect any country from SWIFT for political reasons is wrong," He stressed.

SWIFT "is much like Internet now," the expert said. "The US created the worldwide web, but they do not have the right to disconnect someone from the network, as the Internet does not belong to the US any more. In case with SWIFT, the logic is the same: this platform should serve the global community, not be used as a political tool," he added.

Disconnecting Russia from SWIFT can motivate a number of countries to create alternative payment systems, He noted. "I doubt that Europe or SWIFT headquarters really want that," the expert added.

SWIFT (Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications) is an international banking payment system founded in 1973. It connects more than 9,000 banks in 209 countries.

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