Russian, Chinese Central Banks ‘Working Together On SWIFT-Alternative Interoperability’

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Russian, Chinese Central Banks ‘Working Together On SWIFT-Alternative Interoperability’
Source: AdobeStock / Hugh O’Neill

A senior Russian parliamentarian has claimed that the Central Bank is working with the People’s Bank of China on workarounds that may help the countries bypass the SWIFT banking network – including domestic alternatives, blockchain solutions, and digital fiats.

Per Tass, via Rambler, Anatoly Aksakov, the Chairman of the State Duma’s Committee on the Financial Markets, told attendees at a recent press conference that the central banks were working on interoperability solutions that may allow Moscow’s homegrown SWIFT alternative SPFS to connect with China’s own version, the CIPS.

Aksakov claimed that in the first two months of 2022, trade between Russia and China had increased by “more than 40%,” and predicted that the trend would continue upward – particularly if a mutual SWIFT workaround can be agreed upon.

SWIFT is a banking messaging network, and Russia’s exclusion from it as a result of Western-led sanctions has hit exporters particularly hard. But as previously reported, both Moscow and Beijing have long anticipated the need for homegrown alternatives – and have been working on them for years.

Russia’s attack on Ukraine, however, has sped up the need for innovation on this and other financial technology fronts.

Aksakov was quoted as stating that in order to “remove risks” associated with conducting trade without a bank messaging system solution, it was “necessary to establish interaction between” the SPFS and CIPs networks.

He said:

“I know that this work is underway. The Central Bank is interacting with the People’s Bank of China. And I believe that the current situation will stimulate the relevant processes. We have a very efficient system [the SPFS] and the current situation demonstrates that.”

And Aksakov stated that blockchain-powered finance, as well as central bank digital currency (CBDC) progress, would also be sped up both in China and in Russia as a result of the war and the financial sanctions imposed on the latter.

He was quoted as stating:

“I think that subjects related to blockchain technology will also be actively developed. The digital ruble, the digital yuan, and [boosting trade] with the help of these currencies is also more a concern of the near future than was the case a few months ago.”

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