Venezuela is considering the possibility of switching to the Russian payment system as an alternative to the SWIFT system, which operates from Belgium, Bloomberg writes, citing its sources. So Caracas is preparing for American sanctions.
Venezuela has already requested information from Russia about this system. Caracas fears that it will be blocked from the international payment system, and it will hit even harder the country’s weak financial system. And even if it switches to the Russian system, it will still need the approval of the Central Bank of Russia.
Neither Russian nor Venezuelan officials commented on this information.
US sanctions against the Maduro regime isolated Venezuela from the global financial system. In addition, they were going to impose a ban on transactions in Venezuela for Visa and Mastercard.
However, the threat of disconnection from SWIFT also came to Russia in 2014, reminds the author of the article, and the Iranian banks suffered from this. Russia has become one of the main supporters of Venezuela. And some Russian banks and large corporations have already switched to the Russian payment system. And also, according to the authorities, some foreign agents joined her. From banking organizations, these are banks in Belarus, Abkhazia and South Ossetia.
The first transaction under this system called SPFS was conducted by Gazprombank at the end of 2017. And now through this mechanism goes more than 10% of all financial transactions. But SWIFT also started with a small system for 15 countries.