Russia began developing its own domestic payment system in 2015 after the first round of Western sanctions. These were established after Russia annexed Crimea the previous year. This initiative resulted in Mir, a card payment system. But these cards are not accepted worldwide. The Mir payment system is currently available in a few countries, including Belarus and Kazakhstan. The payment method is popular among Russian tourists.
Turkey has not imposed sanctions on Russian companies in response to Russia’s aggression against Ukraine. The system will facilitate tourism between the two countries, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said after meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin on August 5. However, Erdogan reportedly discussed alternatives to Mir with his finance minister last week.
100 million Mir cards
Russian authorities want to see cards accepted abroad. It will reduce the financial problems that Russians now face while traveling.
Over 100 million Mir cards have been issued in the last seven years. That is, more than half of Russia’s population has one, according to card issuer statistics. Some people have no choice. Mir Card is required for public sector employees and pensioners to avail government payments and benefits. Several Russian banks say they are working on issuing cards with China’s UnionPay as an alternative.
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