Russia’s Alternative Financial System Ready
In 2014/5 some western politicians started calling for Russia to be disconnected from the SWIFT system for inter-bank transfers. Russia responded by putting in place plans to set up their own version of SWIFT which can work independently of the main international system if necessary. The Russian Central Bank has now announced that this system is ready.
This has wider implications than the immediate geopolitical risk management advantages for Russia. It's also an important piece in the jigsaw of creating wider financial systems which are not controlled by the western banking elite. Other developments on this front in recent years include: a number of currency swap deals between various countries outside of the US/UK/EURO/NATO group, including Russia/China (this has been used to help Russia maintain liquidity in the last 3 years whilst the price of oil has been suppressed); the massive $400 billion gas deal between Russia and China agreed in 2014, and, crucially, having the transactions settled in Renminbi; and the rise of crypto-currencies.