Russian Central Bank Preparing for SWIFT ‘Nuclear Option’

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Smaller banks have been encouraged to establish secondary arrangements for processing bank card transactions.

Preparing for new U.S. sanctions “early next year” that will likely target Russia’s access to the SWIFT international banking system—something that was just described as a “nuclear option” against Moscow just earlier this week—the Bank of Russia has urged the country’s smaller banks to prepare for a “worst-case scenario.”

Russian media outlets reported today that financial institutions may soon be disconnected from international payment systems, including the loss of service from Visa and MasterCard systems. The BOR statement encouraged the country’s smaller banks to route their payments through larger bank systems and the National Payment Card System.

As TruNews reported earlier this week, U.S. Special Envoy for Ukraine Kurt Volker told Voice of America that such a move against Russia’s access to SWIFT should be viewed as a last-ditch effort to avoid a physical confrontation. This new report in the Russian media states Moscow is preparing for the eventuality—and soon.

Full article: Russian Central Bank Preparing for SWIFT ‘Nuclear Option’ (TruNews)

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