Russia ready with own alternative to international bank transfer system .
Global oil giant Rosneft has prepared itself for shutdown of SWIFT interbank cash transfer services, should Russia be shut out of the system as part of Western sanctions.
A Russian equivalent of SWIFT was tested by Rosneft in December, Gazprombank Vice-President Andrey Korolyov told TASS news agency. It is the first time that the Russian SWIFT analogue has been used by a huge corporation since its introduction in 2014.
Gazprombank is Russia’s third-largest bank. Both Rosneft and the bank have been the subjects of US sanctions.
The potential exclusion of Russia from SWIFT has worried the country’s banks since 2014, when the EU and the US introduced the first round of international sanctions against Moscow over alleged involvement in the Ukraine crisis and the reunification with Crimea. However, SWIFT itself has fended off such talks.