Chinese bank stops settlements with Russia
RUSSIA / FSU POLITICS - In Brief 12 Feb 2024 by Alex Teddy
On February 7 the news about Chouzhou Commercial Bank (CCB) was reported in the Russian business newspaper Vedomosti. CCB has been vital for Russia to pay for imports since 2022. CCB has reportedly informed clients that it will no longer facilitate payments. The CCB payments ended on SWIFT and China's equivalent CIPS as well as the Russian version of it, which is called "SPES". It appears minor Chinese payment systems such as Xtransfer and PingPong have also halted payments. China has been Russia's biggest trade partner since 2008. Trade between them was increasing before the pandemic and started to grow again after it. Putin says over a third of trade with China is in RMB. Before the war Russia had an ambition to de-dollarize, and the war has accelerated this. On February 7 Putin's spokesman said that Russia is having some trouble with Chinese trade. Western partners presumably insist on seeing reporting from the bank. It is suspected this is how the US identifies which banks are expediting Russia's purchase of goods that have military applications. The European Union is preparing another round of sanctions on entities it accuses of assisting the Russian war effort. Most of these entities are Russian but some are in China, Turkey, India and elsewhere.
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