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Two Turkish banks suspend Russian MIR payments after US warning

Isbank Towers, Levent Financial Center, Istanbul, Turkey. [Wikipedia]
Isbank Towers, Levent Financial Center, Istanbul, Turkey. [Wikipedia]

Two of Turkiye's largest banks have suspended their acceptance of Russia's MIR payments system after US warnings of punishment for sanctions evasion, Bloomberg reports.

According to the report, Turkiye's largest private lender, IsBank and Denizbank, a Turkish unit of the United Arab Emirates' NBD, suspended transactions through Russia's MIR system after the sanctions applied by the US.

MIR (Russian for "peace" and "world") became an alternative for Russian travellers after their Visa and MasterCard cards stopped working abroad.

The two international payment system providers suspended Russian operations over the country's 24 February invasion of Ukraine, the report says.

Russia's Central Bank said, last week, that foreign banks were reluctant to join the MIR system out of fear of secondary sanctions.

Reuters' report says that more than half of Russia's population has a MIR card, as 100 million MIR cards have been issued since the system launched in 2015.

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