Three more Turkish banks to exit Russian Mir system amid US pressure
Following Isbank and Denizbank, three Turkish state-run banks are exiting Russian Mir system on US warning, Bloomberg reported.
Turkey’s three biggest state-owned lenders, Ziraat Bank, Vakifbank and Halkbank decided to leave the Russian payment system on late Tuesday.
Last week, Turkey’s non-state lenders Isbank and Denizbank announced the suspension of transactions through Russian Mir payment system, amid US pressure on Turkish businesses to prevent Russia from evading sanctions.
Washington on Sept.15, sanctioned the CEO of the Bank of Russia’s National Card Payment System (NSPK), which runs Mir.
“Directly and indirectly, Russia’s financial technocrats have supported the Kremlin’s unprovoked war,” the US Treasury said.
Mir system, established by Russian Central Bank in 2017, has been adopted in Russia as a domestic alternative to Visa and Mastercard, which have suspended operations in Russia after its invasion of Ukraine.
Turkey maintaining good relations with both Russia and Ukraine, has condemned the Russian invasion, but opposed Western sanctions against Moscow over the war.
Turkish Finance Minister Nureddin Nebati in April said Turkey’s banks are expanding the network of Russian payment system Mir to help lure tourists to the country. The Mir was very popular among Russian tourists visiting Turkey, that Ankara counts on for boosting its tourism revenue.