RIGA, January 29 (Sputnik) — The possible exclusion of Russia from the SWIFT payment system proposed by the European Parliament will hurt the world’s economy, Latvian Prime Minister Laimdota Straujuma told Baltkom radio station Thursday.
President of the Association of Russian Banks Garegin Tosunyan said earlier in the day, during his conference at RIA Novosti, that the exclusion of Russia from SWIFT will benefit no one, adding that such statements are a form of blackmailing.
"I think that there is an element of political speculation… I hope that the emotions will go, and all this will remain only as a form of blackmailing," Tosunyan said.
In response, the Russia's Central Bank said the country might introduce alternative channels of interbank communications to replace SWIFT.
During the past weeks, several reports appeared in Western media, speculating that exclusion of Russia from the SWIFT may be discussed soon. In response to those statements, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said that if the SWIFT payment system were to be targeted to apply pressure on the country, Russia's reaction would be "unlimited".