Russia's foreign ministry spokeswoman said that this country is preparing to leave the SWIFT financial network.

Iran PressEurope: "Russia is trying to minimize the potential risks if it leaves SWIFT," Zakharova told Russia today.

The European Parliament recently passed a resolution calling for Russia's expulsion from the SWIFT financial network.

Russia's withdrawal from SWIFT has been accelerated in recent weeks by strained relations between Moscow and the European Union. Meanwhile, Russia responded to new sanctions by Brussels by imposing sanctions on eight European officials, and Russian officials reiterated that they are taking the issue seriously.

SWIFT is a financial messaging system that connects banks and other financial institutions around the world to exchange information about financial transactions between them in a secure manner.

The network, which facilitates global financial transactions, is headquartered in Belgium, but its board of directors consists of executives from American banks.

Washington has also threatened for years that it may cut off Russia's access to the Swift system.

Russia, along with China and India, members of the world's emerging economies known as the BRICS, have decided to create an alternative messaging system in order to circumvent SWIFT's banking messaging system.

The Russian system is called "SPFS" and is to be connected to China's messenger system, called "CIPS". India does not yet have such a system.

Russian media have reported that the formation of such a network between the three countries will connect three billion people.

Russia and the BRICS countries are trying to launch a financial alternative to Swift due to the insecure behavior of the West.

Russia launched the SPFS in 2014 after Washington threatened to expel it from SWIFT. The first financial transaction via this system took place in December 2017.

Eurasian Economic Union member states are also working with the Russian Central Bank to join the SPFS. The Islamic Republic of Iran has also announced that it is looking to launch an alternative system to Swift. 219