In the face of sweeping new sanctions targeting its sovereign debt, and threats of being cut off from SWIFT, Visa and other financial instruments, Moscow has recently gone on the diplomatic offensive, encouraging trade partners to continue to move away from the use of the dollar in trade, and to create alternative payment systems.
The share of the dollar in Russia’s foreign trade operations has been declining from year to year, and the same thing will happen in countries the world over once people begin to doubt the US currency’s stability, presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov has said.
Speaking to Russian television on Thursday about recent actions and threats in Russia’s direction in the financial and economic arena, including the possible unplugging of Moscow from SWIFT, Peskov suggested that “if SWIFT as a service shows its lack of reliability, we live in a world that’s developed to such a degree that analogues, bypasses or substitutes for this system will be found very quickly.”
Peskov emphasized that the Belgium-based global interbank service was one of only several financial sector services, albeit the dominant one, and if access is cut off, other countries will be interested in using alternatives.
As for dollar trade, Peskov said he was confident that Russia’s recent move away from the greenback will be followed up by other countries with time, once they begin to “doubt the currency’s stability and the stability of the country issuing it.”
“It’s time for everyone, including the Americans, to understand that Russia is a self-sufficient country – a strong, self-sufficient state. It’s impossible to restrict Russia in any area. Yes, one can try to restrain it, one can press on the throats of your allies and force them not to buy Russian weapons, but this will not force Russia to change its policy,” he stressed.
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