“What sanctions?” is how Russia laughs off Western punitive measures while creating its own alternative system. Much like the attack on Russian oil and gas, the West is shooting itself in the foot here as well. Iran and the sanctions against it in the previous 10 years have also been a prime example of plans backfiring. Iran, a third world economy, has no bottom — and plenty of other needy customers such as China who would be more than welcome to take Persian oil.
“The pilot project involves SMP Bank and Rossiya Bank, those for which the story is very critical and important. These are quite large banks,” the head of the Russian National payment system (NPS) Vladimir Komlev said in an interview with Rossiya 24 TV.
The move comes as a part of Russia’s ambitious initiative to move away from the Western dominance of its financial markets. Last month the Russian Central Bank said it would have its own international inter-bank payment system, an alternative to the global SWIFT network up and running by May 2015.
Gazprombank, Rosbank, Alfa Bank and Ural Bank for Reconstruction and Development are among eight other banks to join the pilot project. They were selected based on the size of business, location and technology platform, Komlev said.
“The modules themselves are something unique, independent, only partly related to the Openway. Now all this belongs to us: our code, the knowledge of how the system is built, and its logic. We are able to develop it and provide support,” said Komlev.
NPS was established in 2014 after a number of Russian banks were hit by US and EU sanctions. In March international payment systems Visa and MasterCard stopped servicing cards issued by the banks following the introduction of the sanctions.
Full article: Sanctioned Russian banks begin testing national payment system next week (Russia Today)