MOSCOW, October 25. /TASS/. The European Union plans to connect Russia and China to its international payment system, currently being designed as an alternative to the global provider of financial messaging services, SWIFT, Russia’s EU envoy said on Thursday.
"There is an understanding that they will create it on their own, put it into practice and then open it for third states, first and foremost Russia and China," Russia’s Permanent Representative to the EU, Ambassador Vladimir Chizhov, said in an interview with the Rossiya-24 TV channel.
The ambassador said that the project to create a special mechanism for financial transactions with Iran bypassing the US sanctions is now in full swing.
"Less than a half of EU members have no economic ties with Iran at all. But those who have are the biggest countries, and they are actively involved in the project, first off all the signatories of the JCPOA [Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action on Iran’s nuclear program] - namely, Germany, France and the United Kingdom," the high-ranking Russian diplomat said.
EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Federica Mogherini announced in New York on September 24 that the EU countries have started preparations for setting up a special mechanism for transactions with Iran. The aim of the mechanism is to support international trade, including in the oil sector, and protect the interests of European companies who plan to continue their business projects with the Islamic state following Washington’s unilateral withdrawal from the deal and the announcement of sanctions earlier this year. According to Mogherini, a decision on setting up this mechanism at the level of the EU member-states has been made and other countries could join it.
Chairperson of the Bank of Russia Elvira Nabiullina said last Friday the Central Bank has not yet received an invitation to join the European counterpart of SWIFT.
SWIFT is the international interbank system of information transmission and payments. Over 11,000 financial institutions of more than 200 countries of the world are connected to it. The possibility of disconnecting Russia from SWIFT has been discussed since 2014, when first anti-Russian sanctions related to the situation in Ukraine were introduced.