Two to three years would be enough time for Russia to switch to international settlements to the ruble, Andrey Kostin, head of Russia’s second-biggest bank VTB, said.
“Two to three years is enough, not only to launch [settlements in rubles], but also to complete these mechanisms. But much will depend on how banks will cope with the task,” Kostin said in an interview with Izvestia newspaper.
“I did not find understanding in this matter with the previous leadership of the Central Bank [10 years ago ] They believed that since the [US] dollar works, we shouldn’t do anything, and settlements in rubles will just bring additional risks. Under the new leadership the position of the Central Bank changed. I think that soon we will achieve a major breakthrough,” Kostin said.
Creating a national payment system and establishing a domestic rating agency are among other priorities for the bank, the VTB head added.
“If you look at Iran’s experience, shutting down SWIFT only happens when all relations; political, economic, cultural, even diplomatic, break down,” the VTB boss said.
“I don’t know how [Western] banks could block SWIFT and then expect cooperation in the fight against terrorism and nuclear disarmament.”
However, replacing SWIFT within Russia won’t be difficult, Kostin said.
“We have a [similar] system at the Central Bank of Russia and others. The Central Bank has tested this system, and we can switch to it at any moment.”
He said that domestic payments account for about 90 percent of VTB settlements and won’t be affected. Across the entire Russian banking system the share of domestic payments is even higher, Kostin explained.
Full article: Russia could ditch US dollar in 2-3 years – head of Russia’s #2 bank (Russia Today)