Russia’s second-largest bank’s chairman says by imposing sanctions on Russia, the West has “demolished the global trade system and caused an inflation surge.” Pointing to the U.S. banking crisis as an example, he stressed: “This is virtually the largest financial and banking crisis since 2008, and it is already spreading to Europe.”
’Sanctions Against Russia Are a Double-Edged Sword’
Andrey Kostin, the chairman of state-controlled VTB, Russia’s second-largest bank, talked about the U.S. banking crisis and the effects of Western sanctions on Russia in a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday. Kostin told Putin:
We are actively creating a new payments and settlements infrastructure involving rubles and currencies of friendly states.
“We have the necessary expertise and infrastructure for this because we are present in major Asian countries, such as China and India, and we are present in the CIS [Commonwealth of Independent States] countries. We are therefore working actively in this sphere,” the VTB Bank chairman detailed.
Regarding the effects of U.S. sanctions on Russia, Kostin said, “We have probably become somewhat immune.” He described: “Sanctions against Russia are a double-edged sword. In effect, by using sanctions against Russia, the West has demolished the global trade system and caused an inflation surge.” The VTB executive continued:
Look at what is now happening in the United States. This is virtually the largest financial and banking crisis since 2008, and it is already spreading to Europe.
“Western attempts to resolve this problem by standard methods devalued bank assets, and we can see the result of this,” he opined.
The VTB president further informed Putin: “Our banking sector is feeling quite safe. I do not think that there will be any problems, although we incurred certain losses last year when our property was simply taken away from us.”
Kostin additionally revealed: “We now have to learn to work in a new way. I believe that it is possible to considerably reshape the financial system in several years.”
The VTB Bank chief added that the bank no longer issues loans in Western currencies, emphasizing that “it is impossible to take out such loans.” He concluded:
We are expanding the ruble market, and we are starting to work with the yuan and other currencies. This process is going on, and I think, it is picking up pace. Today, rubles account for over 50 percent of payments and settlements with friendly countries.
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