Political decision? Belarus, Russia setting financial payments system

Photo: MAXIM ZMEYEV / Reuters / Forum

Belarus and Russia are completing the establishment of their bilateral financial payments system which does not provide for the use of the SWIFT network, Aleh Karobyin, Chairman of the Board of the Belarusian Interbank Settlement Centre, told news agency Interfax.

“The project is its readiness phase; we have signed an agreement with the Bank of Russia which implies that the Belarusian Interbank Settlement Centre will become a hub for the Belarusian banking system. In fact, we will be exercising the same function as we currently fulfil under the SWIFT system,” he said.

According to the top official, they are going to present an alternative service for settling payments by Belarusian banks in favour of Russian partners, and vice versa. At that, the sides will be able to bypass SWIFT.

It was the two central banks’ political decision in order to unite the payments systems, Karobyin explained. The project may be launched in November-December.

“All necessary permits have already been obtained, the process of integrating all the modules into a whole is underway,” he stressed.

The system aims at facilitating the settlements between enterprises of Belarus and Russia as well as reducing their cost, he added. The major currency of payment will be the Russian ruble.

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