GENEVA, November 13. /TASS/. Russia considers the reconnection of the Russian Agricultural Bank to SWIFT to be a critical issue in moving forward in reducing barriers to local agricultural product exports, and will try to achieve it, according to Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Vershinin.
"This is not the first time we've discussed it, because, in my opinion, reconnection of the Russian Agricultural Bank, which provides the majority of agricultural transactions, agricultural operations, is a critical issue. We simply cannot move forward without it. We've talked about this before, and yesterday we talked about it very substantively and for a long time, and we obtained reassurance from UN representatives that they, too, believe this is a critical issue," Vershinin said.
"We're working on it, and we will achieve it," the diplomat continued.
He mentioned that there are specific proposals on how to open correspondent accounts in a number of foreign banks, Citibank and JPMorgan, as a temporary solution. "However, if this option is available, it will only be temporary, because the actual solution is a complete reconnection of Russian Agricultural Bank to the SWIFT financial messaging system," he emphasized.
When asked if sanctions against Uralchem and Phosagro may be lifted, Vershinin stated, "These companies are one of the key Russian producers and suppliers of fertilizers to the world market. Naturally, when we discuss the necessity to actually implement the statement made in Washington and Brussels that neither fertilizers nor agricultural products are subject to sanctions, this is exactly what we need to accomplish."
"As a result, this is also a direction that we believe is vital to complete, that is, to achieve a specific result. We will do it," Vershinin stated.