Moscow to cut dependence on US payment systems

MOSCOW - Russia will speed up work on reducing dependency on US payment systems and the dollar as a settling currency, RIA news agency cited Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov as saying on Monday.
It is a response to the new sanctions against Russia reluctantly signed into law last week by US President Donald Trump. The sanctions targeted Russia's energy sector, with new limits on US investment in Russian companies.
"We will of course intensify work related to import substitution, reduction of dependence on US payment systems, on the dollar as a settling currency and so on. It is becoming a vital need," Ryabkov was quoted as saying.
"(Otherwise) we will always sit on their hook, exactly what they need," he said, referring to the United States.
Russia has already introduced a new national payment system to cut reliance on Western systems, such as Visa and MasterCard.
Those operators stopped providing services to clients of one Russian bank after Washington imposed sanctions over Moscow's role in the Ukraine crisis, including its annexation of Crimea from Kiev and support of pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine.
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