16 Nov 2023 10:17

Russian Agricultural Bank's reconnection to SWIFT still at negotiation stage, option with subsidiary 'pointless' - bank

MOSCOW. Nov 16 (Interfax) - Russian Agricultural Bank's (RusAg) reinstatement in SWIFT remains at the stage of negotiations, while the option of connecting the bank's European subsidiary to the financial messaging system is "pointless," RusAg first deputy CEO Kirill Levin said on Wednesday.

Reuters, citing a letter from the UN, reported at the beginning of September that RusAg's subsidiary in Luxembourg, RSHB Capital S.A. will be able to file an application for membership in and access to SWIFT for transactions with food and fertilizer.

"Connecting the bank's European subsidiary to SWIFT will in no way help in settlements for Russian agricultural products and fertilizer. Our colleagues and counterparties from the UN agreed with this. This option is pointless and has no future. And RusAg's reconnection to SWIFT is still at the stage of negotiations," Levin said in a conference call with reporters.

Proposals to connect RusAg's subsidiary to SWIFT to revive the Black Sea grain export deal are unrealistic, and Russia will only be prepared to implement this agreement if all obstacles to Russian grain and fertilizer exports are removed, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said earlier.

RusAg, unlike other major Russian state banks, is not subject to U.S. or EU sanctions, but it has been shut out of SWIFT. Reconnecting the bank to SWIFT was one of Russia's conditions in the grain deal it agreed to with Ukraine, Turkey and the UN.

RusAg is wholly state owned, with all shares held by the Federal Property Agency.