MOSCOW, October 24 (RIA Novosti) – Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan have discussed the possibility of creating their own interbank financial system equivalent to the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT), said the Deputy Chairman of the Board of the National Bank of Belarus Sergei Dubkov.
“Belarus uses SWIFT, just like Russia and Kazakhstan. However, it does not mean that we should not use other channels of business interaction [between banks], which would be controlled by us”, Dubkov said in an interview with the Belarusian Telegraph Agency.
Dubkov also added that the Central Banks of the three countries are working toward the integration of their national payment systems.
“This is not against anyone. We are certainly not against Visa and MasterCard”, Dubkov said, stressing the importance of providing customers with a choice.
This spring, Russian authorities started to search for ways to decrease the country’s dependence on SWIFT, after a number of Russian banks were hit by Western sanctions.
SWIFT links more than 10,500 financial entities in 215 countries. The system allows financial institutions and corporations to exchange financial data, facilitating cooperation in the financial community.