17:55 GMT29 November 2020
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    According to Australian Ambassador to Russia, Canberra would not like to see Russia being excluded from the SWIFT interbank payment system as this could lead to a global economic collapse.

    MOSCOW, (Sputnik) Australia would not like to see Russia being excluded from the SWIFT interbank payment system as this could lead to a global economic collapse, Australian Ambassador to Russia Paul Myler said in an interview with RIA Novosti.

    "I am certain that in reality nobody supports this idea. It would be a very serious decision that would immediately cause practically all Western companies to leave Russia. You cannot carry out normal activities without SWIFT," Myler explained.

    According to the ambassador, if Russia is shut off from the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) system, it could lead to severe economic problems.

    "Australia would not want to see that [happen]. It's like a nuclear bomb for the economy. Nobody would want that, neither the European Union, nor the United States," Myler stressed.

    The ambassador added that if the West decides on further sanctions against Russia over its alleged involvement in the situation in Ukraine, there are other options that would not have such drastic consequences as being excluded from SWIFT.

    "Believe me, there are other steps that we can take with regard to Russia, before shutting off SWIFT," Myler told RIA Novosti.

    In September 2014, the European Parliament urged EU member states to consider excluding Russia from the SWIFT system, which provides the infrastructure for $6 billion in interbank operations daily.

    Swift payment system
    © Photo : https://twitter.com/swiftcommunity/

    In response, Russia's Central Bank said the country might introduce alternative channels of interbank communications to replace SWIFT.

    Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said that if the SWIFT payment system were to be targeted to apply pressure on the country over the situation in Ukraine, Russia's reaction would be "unlimited."

    The West has imposed several rounds of economic sanctions against Russia, which it accuses of being involved in the Ukrainian crisis. Russia has repeatedly denied these claims, stressing that sanctions are counterproductive and hurt not only the target country but those applying them as well.


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