Officials from the People’s Bank of China and the Central Bank of Russia will hold a meeting on the national payment systems in both countries as Russia seeks to circumvent its exclusion from the international SWIFT payment and messaging system.
Russia has been excluded from the international SWIFT payment messaging system, while Visa and Mastercard are among the many western companies to have suspended operations in the country.
“Regarding the promotion and use of the Mir and China UnionPay national payment systems in both countries, this question will be decided by the two sides’ central banks at consultations,” Beijing’s ambassador to Moscow, Zhang Hanhui, said.
Mir and UnionPay are among the few options left for Russians to make payments abroad since Russian banks were isolated from the global financial system in response to Moscow’s invasion.
China has refused to condemn Russia’s actions in Ukraine and has criticised the unprecedented international sanctions on Moscow. The two countries have bolstered ties in recent years, including announcing a “no limits” partnership in February.
The ambassador said China would make use of a clearing bank for operations in yuan on Russian territory to ensure the sustainable development of national trade, which Russia expects to reach $200 billion by 2024.
He also said that China and Russia were not advocating for the rejection of US dollar and euro settlements in bilateral trade.
- Reuters, with additional editing by George Russell