Andrei Kostin, head of the VTB Bank, one of the biggest banks in Russia, has stated that the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT), the standard messaging system for fiat payments, “needs to be killed.” Kostin remarked that the actions of the U.S. and its use of the dollar have awakened fears in other countries that are also seeking alternatives to the system.
Kostin Signals Need for SWIFT to ‘Be Killed’
The Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT), a group that provides the standard messaging protocol for making cross-border transactions in the current global banking system, needs to “be killed,” according to recent statements of Andrei Kostin, head of the VTB Bank.
Kostin, who leads the second-largest bank group in Russia, recognized that for this to happen, other countries have to complete a set of actions. At the recent International Banking Forum held in Sochi, Kostin stated :
SWIFT – it needs to be killed for our calculations, this matter is quite simple, but it will require certain actions, including within individual countries.
Kostin was designated by the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) in April 2018 as a Russian government official who played a “key role in advancing Russia’s malign activities.”
Dollar Weaponization and Alternatives
Kostin referred to the weaponization of the U.S. currency against Russia and other countries as a factor that has caused other nations to diminish their use of the dollar and consider the introduction of alternatives such as national currencies.
The fact that the Americans used the dollar so harshly, and the Europeans used the euro, influenced a change in the mentality of many countries. They realized that they could be next.
Since becoming the object of Western sanctions, Russia has begun switching to settling trade in national currencies with friendly nations. Also, the country is actively seeking alternatives to SWIFT, as Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov explained during the Moscow Financial Forum.
Siluanov stated that at the next BRICS summit, the creation of an alternative to the SWIFT system would be discussed. SWIFT has been a tool for isolating the Russian banking system from the world, disconnecting seven Russian banks from the system in March 2022 and then expanding these measures to other credit institutions.
What do you think about Andrei Kostin’s thoughts on SWIFT and its use in applying economic sanctions? Tell us in the comments section below.