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Russia Offers Trade Partners To Join Its SWIFT Alternative SPFS

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Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) countries have been offered a chance by Russia to join its financial messaging system (SPFS), the Russian equivalent of SWIFT (Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications).

Moscow wants to boost the volume of settlements in national currencies, the country’s Economic Development Minister Maxim Reshetnikov said on Tuesday.

“In order to ensure uninterrupted cooperation between our banks, we suggest that members of the organization join the Russian financial messaging system,” Reshetnikov said in his video address to participants at the SCO forum in Uzbekistan.

Reshetnikov pointed out that SCO countries need to continue to promote full compatibility of national payment systems and boost the volume of mutual settlements in their national currencies.

“We already see positive results, for example, a quarter of the trade turnover between Russia and China is settled in rubles and yuan,” Reshetnikov said.

China, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, Pakistan and Uzbekistan are eight-member states of the SCO, while its partners and associate countries also include Afghanistan, Belarus, Iran, Mongolia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Cambodia, Nepal, Turkey and Sri Lanka.

After being cut-off from the SWIFT as part of sanctions against its invasion of Ukraine, Russia has been actively promoting its domestic financial messaging system. Both systems facilitate financial transactions between international banks, but Russia’s SPFS was used only in Russia up until this year, while SWIFT is an internationally used system.

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