By NSS ataff
With Russian air support, the Syrian government and Iranian troops, including Hezbollah, which has been declared a terrorist organization by a desperate Western cabal, is in the process of causing the total collapse of ISIS in Syria and Lebanon, as recently reported by Al-Masdar, for example, here. While the West pretends to oppose ISIS, and terrorist attacks in Europe are attributed to the group, the imminent defeat of ISIS and the US-supported Al-Qaeda-allied groups is an enormous embarrassment to the entire Western Establishment. Thus some outlets are warning that this collapse of the Caliphate will cause an influx of terror to the rest of the world, as if defeating ISIS could be a bad thing. To be honest, this increase in terror is indeed happening in Europe, Russia and elsewhere, as anyone could have guessed. But the killing of terrorists in the Middle East was necessary and it reduces the number of these terrorists in Europe in the long run. It also discourages any young Sunnis from thinking that they can act with impunity and that there is a future in ISIS.
Having lost face, this was therefore the appropriate time for the US to ratchet up anti-Russian and anti-Iranian propaganda and legal measures. Amazingly, the entire legislature on both sides of the aisle rose to the occasion and imposed stiffer sanctions on Russia aimed at crippling its energy sector. Europe, whose energy stability was thereby threatened, naturally recoiled, threatening counter-sanctions in the event its energy supply were to be hurt by the sanctions. They rightly aired their suspicions that the US was trying to foist exorbitantly priced US LNG gas on Europe. Trump’s Warsaw speech and promise of LNG sales to Poland was a clear signal to them. New Silk Strategies exposed this childish ruse here. A keen reader of news can easily see that, while Trump supporters are trying to cast him as a maverick fighting the Establishment to improve relations with Russia, he is nothing of the sort. While he pretended to oppose the sanctions, they were right in line with his immoral plans to sell US LNG while ruining Russia at the same time.
So now that Europe looks as if it will not stand for sanctions aimed at destabilizing its energy supply, they have come up with a new trick, ie, a shot across Moscow’s bow in the form of a disconnect of a Russian bank from SWIFT. This cutoff of Tempbank is a warning that the US can shut off the entire country, crippling its international transactions with the rest of the world.
Writing about this cutoff, Paul Goncharoff, a renowned economist and business advisor, warns in an article in Russia Insider, that if the US cut off all of Russia from SWIFT, a disaster would ensue that would engulf the West as well as the rest of the world.
QUOTE: “It seems after the sanctions were removed from Iran a while ago Tempbank went ahead and legally opened correspondent accounts with the Iranian Central Bank and a number of large banks of that country. It has further been rumored that the Tempbank chairperson, Mr. Mikhail Gagloyev received a letter from the "human rights" organization "Associations against the Nuclear Program of Iran" (UANI) [keen readers know that there is no Iranian nuclear program. The US is anti-Iranian out of sympathy with ally Israel’s irrational hatred of Iran. Iran has not been demonstrated to have nukes, whereas warlike Pakistan does have them and no one complains—NSS]. This is an interesting organization in its own right. In the letter, UANI warned the Russian bank against cooperating with Iranian or Syrian companies. Meanwhile, the talk in the financial street was that the management of Tempbank was targeted for personal sanctions because of their cooperation with Iranian and Syrian businesses. If these reports are correct, then it follows that with the right amount of influence from the right sources, any Russian bank can be disconnected from SWIFT without much legal recourse or chitchat.“
For this reason, it seems unlikely that the Deep State will be able to go much further by cutting off more Russian banks from SWIFT. But at any rate, this warning is an incentive for Russia to proceed with its plans to further develop its own SWIFT system.
Pravda, one of the few Russian sites to pick up the story, reports at is English language site as follows:
Pravda Report (in English): Tempbank cut off from SWIFT
Russia's Tepmbank has been cut off from international system for the exchange of financial data (SWIFT). The bank has been disconnected from SWIFT after the management of the credit organisation fell under US sanctions.
Tempbank opened correspondent accounts for the Iranian central bank and a number of large banks of the country after economic restrictions were lifted from Iran. Immediately after that, the chairman of the board of the Russian bank received a warning letter from human rights organization Associations Against Iran's Nuclear Program. In the letter, the bank was recommended to refrain from cooperating with Iranian and Syrian companies. Earlier, the same organization threatened the Tempbank management with personal sanctions for its "friendship" with Iran and Syria.
Many Russian experts believe that the Russian financial system will be able to successfully overcome possible disconnection from SWIFT owing to the new Russian payment system SPFS created within the BRICS. Over 300 Russian banks have already switched to the new system.
END Pravda report
Normally, for news from Russia, we would prefer to rely on Russian sources, but such were rare in this case. A Russian source would have no doubt pointed out that the cutoff was unfair because the US has no right to impose its own laws on another country. But the problem is that the US has long written laws for the rest of the world, and the reason it can do so is precisely the control it wields over the world’s banks. Though Russia has been working for years on a substitute for SWIFT, and the results so far are promising, the Russian system operates primarily in transferring rubles and yuan domestically and with China. Much work remains to be done. Thus, we find Russia communicating with the US in the most delicate of diplomatic terms, with Putin always careful to call the US his “partner,” no matter how brutishly the US officials behave. But as dedollarization proceeds between Russia and the BRICS, and with others like Syria and Iran, and as the dollar drops in value as a result, the language could become sharper.
The following article is from a Ukrainian site with an anti-Russian bias but contains details not found elsewhere regarding the disconnection of the Russian Tempbank from SWIFT. We have added our own critiques and clarification in brackets as appropriate. (BTW, the fact that Ukrainian sites like this are often in Russian is a clear indication that the Russian culture permeate all of Ukraine, not just the East – suggesting that much of the current anti-Russian atmosphere in the country is Western-induced, and that a thaw in Ukraine-Russia relations could happen at some point in time if the West were to suspend its nonstop propaganda).
First one down. WHAT IS KNOWN ABOUT THE RUSSIAN TEMPBANK, WHICH HAS BEEN DISCONTINUED FROM SWIFT
Translation from Russian by NSS staff.
Thursday, August 17, 2017
The disconnection of the Russian Tempbank from SWIFT is a signal: the first disgraced bank may be followed by others. [“disgraced”? Perhaps, but the West often condemns Russian entities without justification. If Paul Goncharoff’s explanation above is correct, then this cutoff is groundless--NSS]
Russian Tempbank is disconnected from the international information exchange and payment system, the so-called SWIFT system. They disconnected Tempbank for financial transactions with Syria and Iran. [While it is illegal for US businesses to do business with Syria, international law and legal practice does not give the US the legal right to apply US law to other countries. The West has been brainwashed into believing the amoral West is a moral authority. - NSS]
SWIFT, in simple terms, is a banking cooperative created under Belgian law that belongs to all its participants, namely 9,000 banks in more than two hundred countries. Each bank included in the SWIFT settlement system has its own personal code, and the system provides international payments between member banks. Passing annually through SWIFT are 2.5 billion payment orders - money transfers, interbank payments and securities transfers. In other words, if a bank leaves SWIFT, it cannot send and receive money abroad independently.
According to Alexander Kramarenko, editor-in-chief of Dengi magazine, after the bank is switched off from the SWIFT system, Tempbank will have to resort to the services of other Russian banks for cross-border payments, which will lead to higher costs of operations and longer terms of their implementation.
Russia has not yet made a tragedy out of the disconnection of Tempbank from SWIFT. The head of Russia’s Central Bank, Elvira Nabiullina, said earlier at the beginning of the year that the Russian banking system was prepared for sanctions - its own payment system MIR was developed, with which almost all ATMs and payment terminals of the country can operate. However, Sergey Fursa, a specialist in debt securities sales at Dragon Capital, believes that the Russians will not be able to replace SWIFT with their own payment system.
Despite the fact that the owners of SWIFT are themselves participating banks, the US Treasury and the CIA have access to all the information passing through the network. Such access was received by the Americans after September 11, 2001 in order to detect suspicious financial operations for the financing of terrorists.
The West began to exert pressure remotely on the Russian banking system through SWIFT. First, it "cut down" the already-falling bank. Back in April of this year, the Central Bank of Russia imposed provisional administration on Tempbank in connection with its unstable financial situation. Depositors of Tempbank, which did not have money to return deposits and interest on them, will receive money from the Deposit Insurance Agency. That is, ordinary Russians will not suffer from the sanctions of the West.
Secondly, sanctions by disconnection from SWIFT do not hurt Russia’s political elite - the main "controllers" of the bank Arkady Vainshtein and Dmitry Mityaev are not seen as being close to either Vladimir Putin or his inner circle.
However, disconnection from SWIFT of even such a seedy bank implies a signal from the West: we are beginning to apply this method to pressure Russia. And don’t think that the sanctions were only applied to Tempbank. Do you remember how the Russians laughed at the first US sanctions? However, the first followed the second, then the third, with more and more added each time. The Americans are showing with this SWIFT event that they are piling still another of their sanction yokes on the neck of Russia. So far it doesn’t hurt, but just wait. It’s coming. [Maybe. But if Paul Goncharoff is correct in his assessment, the wholesale sanctioning of Russian banks would cause as many headaches for the West as for Russia.—NSS]
There is also a North Korean trail in Tempbank - in May the Russian press wrote that the Central Bank of Russia introduced restrictions on the balances of the United Development Bank of the DPRK, placed on accounts at Tempbank.
In addition, a Ukrainian footprint can be detected in the history of Tempbank, and, in particular, its shareholders include two Syrian natives, the brothers Khuri Imad Mtanyus and Khouri Muradal Mtanyus, who own 3.3 and 3.8%, respectively, of the bank's shares. Muradal Khouri is one of the founders of the charitable foundation Russar, a Russian public organization that allegedly provides humanitarian aid to Syria. However, the representatives of the fund declared in the Russian press that the business is not limited to Syria alone - Russar is also providing aid to Donbass. Further, the management of Tempbank was on the list of sanctions imposed by Poroshenko in May this year against Russian companies.
Naturally, since this article comes from a Ukrainian site, it is biased against Syria and Donbass – breakaway republic from E. Ukraine. The implication of this last passage is that Tempbank was guilty of wrongdoing by aiding Donbass because Donbass supposedly belongs to Ukraine. But that is the Atlanticist narrative. In order to get an accurate picture of the events in Donbass and what is often called Novorussia, you can start reading Doni, the news site of Donbass News Agency (https://dninews.com/) and Novorossia Vision (https://novorossia.vision/en/), both written by locals suffering from regular military strikes from US-backed militants on mostly civilian targets. The main point that we are not supposed to discuss is that referendums were held in the breakaway republics showing that a vast majority were in favor of splitting from Ukraine. The West howled with false indignation and called the referendums illegal and unconstitutional. However, this Western reaction revealed a major double standard. Indeed, the Scotts had held a similar referendum to split from the UK and no Western reporter or politician declared this action illegal, even though Theresa May had tried to show that it would be necessary for the UK Parliament to act before such a referendum could be held. All the legal obstacles were cleared expeditiously, however, and the referendum was held. The ease with which a referendum was held in Scotland, a Western country, compared to the shrieks of “illegal” from the Western mob of journalists and pols in the face of the Ukrainian referendums – with a far greater percentage of voters favorable to secession than in Scotland, where the referendum was lost -- reveals the grotesque double standard whereby any action favoring Russia is reflexively opposed in the West.