Russia hits the West where it hurts the most

Western politicians have been irritating a poisonous snake while barefoot, and now, their citizens will be paying for their folly.

Two major Western credit card companies have done American government’s bidding. With as much pomp and circumstance as they could muster, they removed their services from Russia.

Now they have received the reply from Russia with love. Whether they feared something like that would happen or not is irrelevant.

Happen it did.

No, Russian banks announced, even after your government lifts its sanctions against us, as they will have to, eventually, none of you will ever set foot in Russia again. Also, none of your cardholders will be able to perform any transactions in Russia, using either VISA or MasterCard. Not now, not ever.

Answering their master’s voice

Russian president Vladimir Putin has been pushing Russian banks for quite some time, asking them to abandon Western credit card systems and turn eastward, instead.

And now he’s got his wish: Russian banks have announced that VISA and MasterCard have become ancient history as of Sunday, March 27, 2022.

Russia is switching to China’s UnionPay. Russian banks started producing new cards almost immediately following their announcement.

The Chinese cards are accepted in 180 countries around the world, on equal standing with VISA, MasterCard, JCB and American Express.

Why is this important?

Simple: the move has created the world’s largest cashless network, both in the number of users, and the amounts of money flowing through the system. This will dwarf VISA, MasterCard, JCB and American Express combined, sending them close to systemic non-existence.

Russian banks have also decided they see no reason to return to SWIFT, either. You don’t want us? Neither do we want you.

Without blushing, Russian bankers said politics has no business interfering with financial markets. Hypocritical? Yes. As if they didn’t act to meet the wish of their country’s president, a politician, that is. But, as a tactical weapon, it’s both effective and efficient.

SWIFT stands for Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications. Defining itself as a member-owned cooperative, it provides safe and secure financial transactions for its members.

As defined, this payment network allows individuals and businesses to take electronic or card payments even if the customer or vendor uses a different bank than the payee.

SWIFT works by assigning each member institution a unique ID code that identifies not only the bank name but the country, city, and branch.

Upon a publicly stated demand made by U.S. president Joe Biden, SWIFT saw fit to enter the thin ice of politics and politicking.

Herewith their statement announcing Russia is no longer welcome into the esoteric world of international banking transactions (verbatim):

Diplomatic decisions taken by the European Union, in consultation with the United Kingdom, Canada and the United States, bring SWIFT into efforts to end this crisis by requiring us to disconnect selected banks from our financial messaging services. As previously stated, we will fully comply with applicable sanctions laws.

To this end, in compliance with the legal instructions in EU Council Regulation (EU) 2022/345 of 1 March 2022 we disconnected seven designated Russian entities (and their designated Russia-based subsidiaries) from the SWIFT network on 12 March 2022.

Additionally, in compliance with EU Council Regulation (EU) 2022/398 of 9 March 2022, we disconnected three Belarusian entities (and their designated Belarus-based subsidiaries) on 20 March 2022.

The SWIFT community will be kept regularly updated across multiple channels, including in the customer section on swift.com.

SWIFT underpins the flow of value around the world, across more than 200 countries, and demonstrates what can be achieved when people come together for common good. We will continue to support economic stability, resiliency and prosperity across the global financial system, to support long term resolution and recovery as well as support politically neutral humanitarian organisations through our corporate social responsibility programmes.

End of quote.

The heat is on

If ever anyone threw a boomerang and didn’t know one should hide before it returned, it would be western politicians. Egged on by America’s (and, specifically, Biden family’s) business interests, they drove the relationship between Russia and Ukraine to levels where armed conflict came close to being inevitable.

It’s not so much about Russian majorities in the Donbass region of Ukraine. It’s not so much about making sure these majorities are safe. It’s not even about extending the so-called fraternal aid to newly-created people’s republics of Donetsk and Luhansk.

It is all about U.S.-staged and supported efforts to build laboratories to test and produce biological weapons, using American expertise and money, with U.S. president’s own son directly involved.

It is about using Ukrainian nuclear power plants to build so-called dirty bombs.

It is about pushing NATO, if not by enrolling Ukraine directly, then by direct co-operation, close to Russia’s borders.

And all that in revenge to Russia’s staunch resistance to all things Great Reset, and all that in an attempt to stop Russia’s supremacy as Europe’s commodity supplier.

Except, it seems these effort are getting close to backfiring.

Russia announced it would no longer accept American dollars from what she described as unfriendly countries (or any other western currency, for that matter) in exchange for her exports: roubles, gold or commodities Russia needs in return, and that’s it.

The Black Friday for U.S. greenbacks came on Friday, April 1, 2022, and several oil producers from the Middle East are already on board, having agreed to Russia’s plan.

This is not to say that Vladimir Putin is as white as a baa-lamb. This is not to judge his Ukrainian colleague Volodymyr Zelenskyy, either.

Here’s what it’s all about: the U.S.-promoted tactic a.k.a. Pax Americana no longer works, and the Americans have nobody else to blame but themselves.

And, meanwhile, American (and other nations’) VISA and MasterCard customers will suffer because neither of the credit card giants is going to carry the burden of their own short-sighted idiocy without sharing it with those who had made them insanely rich in the first place.

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