14 Mar 2022 20:18

Belarus banks cut off from SWIFT to switch other systems, including Russia's - minister

MINSK. March 14 (Interfax) - Sanctioned Belarusian banks cut off from SWIFT will soon switch to other systems, Belarusian Finance Minister Yury Seliverstov said.

"Of course, this is unpleasant, because everyone is accustomed to the established patterns of interaction and exchange of financial information. But this is not the only system in the world. Of course, it was convenient to use it. But in relations with Russia, we have channels and opportunities to use the Russian system, we have this and it works quite well. There is a Chinese system. I think that in the near future banks will be change over to those systems," the BelTA news agency quoted him as saying

Three Belarusian banks - Belagroprombank, Bank Dabrabyt, and the Development Bank of the Republic of Belarus - have been disconnected from SWIFT. Belarus was hit by Western sanctions after Russia's military operation in Ukraine began.

The Central Bank of Russia says all Belarusian banks were connected to its System for Transfer of Financial Messages (SPFS), which emerged after the first round of sanctions against Russia in 2014 in a bid to stave off problems for Russian banks if cut off from SWIFT. Banks connect to the SPFS by signing agreements with the Central Bank of Russia.