Russia urges BRICS countries to integrate payment systems and cards

Russia urges BRICS countries to integrate payment systems and cards

Russia urges BRICS countries to integrate payment systems and cards

Russia urges BRICS countries to integrate payment systems and cards

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The Russian government has asked the BRICS group of developing economies, which includes Brazil, China, India, Russia, and South Africa, to use national currencies for import-export transactions and to integrate payment systems.

Russia has been slammed by unprecedented Western sanctions since its invasion of Ukraine on February 24, cutting it off from the global financial system and nearly half of its gold and foreign exchange reserves, which stood at $606.5 billion in early April.

Meanwhile, Visa and MasterCard, two major international payment cards, ceased operations in Russia in early March, and Russia’s largest banks lost access to the SWIFT global banking messaging system.

According to a statement from his ministry, Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov told a ministerial meeting with BRICS on Friday that the global economic situation has deteriorated significantly as a result of the sanctions.

According to Siluanov, the punitive measures also destroy the foundation of the present international monetary and financial system based on the US dollar.

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“This pushes us to the need to speed up work in the following areas: the use of national currencies for export-import operations, the integration of payment systems and cards, our own financial messaging system and the creation of an independent BRICS rating agency,” Siluanov said.

As an alternative to SWIFT, Russia developed its own banking messaging system, known as SPFS. MIR, the company’s own card payment system, went live in 2015.

They were part of Moscow’s efforts to establish homegrown financial tools that were similar to Western ones in order to safeguard the country in the event that sanctions against Moscow were expanded.

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