Russia can be disconnected from Visa and MasterCard systems

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that Russia saw the need to switch to national or alternative currencies in settlements with other states to get rid of the US dollar peg. Russia is also working to abandon Western payment systems, Lavrov said in an interview with IRNA agency.

“We also consider it important to step up efforts to reduce risks of sanctions and potential costs for economic operators,” the minister said. 

According to him, it goes about the measures to gradually de-dollarize national economies, switch to mutual settlements in national or other currencies alternative to the US dollar, and refuse from the use of international payment systems controlled by the West.

“We see great prospects in this direction for interaction with all interested foreign partners,” Lavrov noted. He added that Moscow's position on Washington's sanctions policy was not going to change. Russia internationally declares inadmissibility of introducing such restrictions, he said.

 "Our position enjoys broad support in the world community,” Russia's Foreign Minister concluded.

On April 5, Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Pankin admitted that Russia could implement a payment system that would be al alternative to SWIFT. According to him, given the rapid development of digital currencies and blockchain, the international settlements platform can be formed on a completely new technological basis. He added that the emergence of such a system will not only be a response to today's geopolitical environment, but also a response to the need to modernize payment methods in line with advances in digital space. 

Earlier, Kremlin's official spokesman Dmitry Peskov did not rule out that the United States, in an effort to put pressure on Moscow, would be prepared to take most severe sanctions against Russia, including disconnecting the country from SWIFT. To crown it all, sources in the team of the current US President indicated that such a measure would come as a response to the hacker attack that affected the US Treasury, State Department, Department of Commerce and a number of government agencies.

The Kremlin also admits that Russia could be disconnected from Western payment systems Visa and MasterCard.

“We can state one thing with certainty: in one form or another, a number of states impose restrictions to restrain Russia, and those restrictions are illegal from the point of view of international law,” the Kremlin spokesman said.