Putin: How To Operate Outside The System
Getting Lessons Where You Can
Right now the most dominant system is the western system. It’s underlying infrastructure is operated by companies like Visa, networks like Swift and conveniences like GPS. If you become reliant on these systems, getting blacklisted from them can be detrimental. Putin has found a way for Russia to relatively function normally without them.
How did he do it?
When Russia invaded Ukraine in 2022 a lot of countries decided to sanction them. Part of the sanctions was Russia’s removal from the SWIFT banking network. This means Russian banks could not easily communicate with other banks on the SWIFT network. Russia decided, if it wants to continue waging it’s war it would have to look around and leverage every partner they got. One approach Russia explored is leveraging its own system for bank communications, developed by it’s own central bank. While this system functions similarly to SWIFT, it has its limitations, such as SPFS's international reach is not as wide, mainly connecting Russia with countries like Armenia, India, Uzbekistan, and Kazakhstan. Russia is also using it’s domestic ‘MIR’ cards and Chinese UnionPay cards as opposed to Visa and Mastercard.
Russia also had around $140 billion worth of gold stashed away before the war started in 2022.