Five Turkish banks adopt Russia’s Mir payments system
As Turkey refrained from going along with Western economic sanctions against Russia, Turkish banks stepped up efforts to to join a Russian credit card system.
“There are serious developments regarding the work that Turkish banks are doing on Russia’s Mir card,” Turkey’s President Tayyip Erdogan said, in a press briefing on the plane coming back from Sochi, according to state-run Anadolu Agency.
“That’s a relief for both Russian tourists and Turkey. Payment in rubles will be a source of financial support for both Russia and Turkey. …Our central bank governor also met his Russian counterpart this time” he said.
As Mastercard and Visa have halted operations in Russia, Mir card payments will allow Russian tourists to pay for their purchases in Turkey.
Russia and Turkey also agreed to start moving to partial payment in rubles for deliveries of natural gas at talks in Sochi.
Turkey’s Milliyet newspaper reported that the shift to payments in mutual trade between Turkey and Russia in rubles will allow protecting Turkey’s foreign currency reserves.
But economist Ugur Gurses said finding rubles was also a challenge for the Turkish government, and the payments by Mir card could not cover the giant trade gap between Turkey and Russia, because of Turkey’s energy needs.
“The bankers I spoke to after the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February said that 4-5 banks in Turkey accepted this card and the transactions did not exceed 100 million liras” he said, adding that obviously the system did not improve in 4-5 months.