US targets banks using Russian payment system
The US Treasury Department announced on Thursday it is ready to impose sanctions on any institution outside Russia using the country’s payment system.
According to its press release, financial institutions that enter into new or expanded agreements with the National Payment Card System (NSPK) “risk supporting Russia’s efforts to evade US sanctions through the expanded use of the MIR National Payment System outside the territory of the Russian Federation.”
The Treasury also announced sanctions on the chairman of the management board and CEO of NSPK, Vladimir Komlev.
Earlier, the US threatened to impose sanctions on foreign banks – in particular, Turkish finance institutions – for working with the Mir system.
Russia started developing its own national payment system when the US targeted the country with sanctions in 2014. At the time, clients of several Russian banks were temporarily unable to use Visa and Mastercard due to the restrictions.
Since the introduction of the new payment system, Russian banks have issued more than 129 million Mir cards. They are currently accepted in Turkey, Vietnam, Armenia, South Korea, Uzbekistan, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, South Ossetia, and Abkhazia.
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