All Belarusian banks have connected to the Russian Financial Messaging System. About it reported Denis Baryshkov, Head of the Payment System Development and Regulation Department of the National Payment System Department of the Bank of Russia.
The financial messaging system emerged after the first wave of sanctions against the Kremlin that Western countries imposed in 2014, including a number of banks. By creating this system, the Russian authorities intend to protect financial organizations from possible problems in the event of SWIFT disconnection in the country.
“It was within the framework of the same policy that the National System of Payment Cards appeared, within which all state employees were transferred to the Mir card,” Sergei Glandin, head of the Pen & Paper lawyer’s sanctions and compliance practice, added in a conversation with The Insider. “Within the framework of interstate associations, which include Russia (EAEU, CSTO, SCO, BRICS), a number of initiatives to reduce dependence on the United States and Western Europe are at various stages of readiness.
Sanctions against Belarus have been introduced since June 2006. The pressure on the neighboring country is only growing. As part of 5 packages of sanctions after the August 2020 elections, almost the entire economy, including the largest companies, fell under blocking or sectoral sanctions. In this regard, the connection of Belarusian banks to this system looks like a logical step, ”the expert is sure.
The topic of a possible disconnection of Russia from SWIFT arises every time the contradictions with Western countries escalate. In recent months, Belarus has been at the center of the sanctions agenda along with Russia.