The Guardian • Issue #1994

Putin and Xi plot to escape SWIFT

At present, in the midst of the panic and pandemonium being created by the world’s press about Russia and China, no one has mentioned that the reasons for the present US aggression towards Russia (via Ukraine), and China (via AUKUS) may be due to new strategies being put in place by Russian president Vladimir Putin and Chinese president Xi Jinping to remove the Sword of Damocles from their economies.

Putin and Xi have agreed to create an independent financial structure for trade operations that cannot be influenced by other countries (i.e. the US). At the end of 2021, Putin described Russia-China relations as “an example of genuine interstate cooperation in the 21st century.” This is a serious counter-ploy in what looks like a clever, coordinated chess move to oppose the relentless hybrid war/Cold War being deployed by the imperialistic West.

What has caused this co-operation is the threat by US president Joe Biden and his hawks to sanction one of the world’s major economies by disconnecting its banks from the global electronic-payment-messaging system known as the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT). SWIFT is a messaging network used by 11,000+ banks in over 200 countries, as well as financial institutions, for rapid money transfers worldwide. This is part of a harsh new sanctions package being developed against Russia in response to an “invasion” of Ukraine that will never happen. The only people who want it to happen are the professional NATO warmongers.

This American strategic blunder has simply thrown Russia and China even closer together. Yuri Ushakov, advisor to Putin on foreign affairs, said that it’s time to bypass a SWIFT mechanism “influenced by third countries” to form “an independent financial structure.” Both countries have been trialling alternative payment systems for a long while – the Russian System for Transfer of Financial Messages (SPFS) and the Chinese Cross Border Interbank Payment System (CIPS). It is very complex, as the Chinese banks have reservations about SPFS. Yet scores of nations in the global South are keen to be released from a de facto US dollar dictatorship.

Bypassing the US dollar on trade and all sorts of financial settlements is an absolutely central plank of the ever-evolving Russia-China notion of a multipolar world, and once the most important Russian and Chinese banks (from Sberbank to the Bank of China) adopt the system, the path opens for other banks across Eurasia and the Global South to join. SWIFT, which has been susceptible to continuous American political interference, will be increasingly marginalised.

Although it is difficult to develop a counterpoint to the US-controlled global financial system, with the huge investment companies such as BlackRock, Vanguard and State Street, etc. controlling a web of virtually every major multinational company, there are a series of developments in the offing to escape SWIFT’s clutches. ϑ

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