What Happened: Russia’s state-owned telecoms provider, Rostelecom, is developing an alternative to the Belgium-based SWIFT service for sharing payment data between non-financial companies, Izvestia reported Sept. 25.
Why It Matters: The move is part of Russia's wider effort to insulate its economy from U.S. sanctions, since cutting off SWIFT is one of the more extreme actions that the United States could take against Moscow. Russia has been developing an alternative financial messaging service geared primarily toward banks in recent years. This new platform, however, will be targeted more toward corporate financial exchanges.
Background: On Sept. 17, Iran announced it would replace the SWIFT system in its two-way transfer payments with Russia by using the two countries' own financial messaging systems to protect itself from U.S. and other third-party sanctions.