The European Union does not exclude sanctions against Russia's national Mir payment system, an official representative for the head of European diplomacy, Josep Borrell, Peter Stano, told Izvestia newspaper.
Discussions on this issue are underway, Stano said. However, the EU has not submitted such a proposal for public discussion yet, he added.
At the same time, German MEP Gunnar Beck noted that Brussels' sanctions against the Russian payment system would be ineffective. The Mir payment system is used in Russia and in the countries that are unlikely to follow the example of the European Union.
On September 15, the US Treasury admitted a possibility of sanctions for supporting the cards of the Russian payment system Mir outside Russia.
Experts warned Russians that foreign banks that have entered into agreements with the Mir card operator may refuse to cooperate with the Russian payment system due to the risk of US sanctions.
Indeed, Turkey's Isbank (officially Türkiye İş Bankası) announced a decision to suspend the use of the Mir payment system, Reuters said. According to the bank statement, the bank strives to conduct its activities in accordance with national and international laws, rules and principles.
Turkey's Isbank started accepting Mir cards at its ATMs and POS terminals in April 2019. The National Payment Card System (NPCS) — the operator of Mir cards — then reported that the cards could be used with as many as 6,500 ATMs, 10,000 online stores and 40,000 retail outlets.
As per the first quarter of 2022, Isbank's assets exceeded 1 trillion Turkish liras. It is the largest private bank in Turkey and is also one of the top 5 lending institutions in the country in terms of deposits, TRT Haber notes.
Following İş Bankası, another Turkish bank - Denizbank - stopped cash withdrawal operations with the use of Mir cards.
The United States imposed sanctions against NPCS CEO Vladimir Komplev, but the Mir card operator itself was not subject to sanctions. Experts believe that Turkish banks would take the risk of sanctions seriously due to their cooperation with the Mir payment system.
The European Union does not exclude sanctions against the Mir payment system either.
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