Several banks in Kyrgyzstan turn their backs on Russian Mir payment cards

Senior business correspondent
Due to technical reasons and geopolitical tensions

This week, ten commercial banks in Kyrgyzstan have stopped giving service to Russia’s Mir payment cards, according to Interfax news agency.

Among those banks alleging technical reasons for the move are Aiyl Bank and Kyrgyz-Swiss Bank. On the other hand, Bank Kyrgyzstan and Halyk Bank Kyrgyzstan (a subsidiary of the Halyk Bank Kazakhstan) have justified their move with geopolitical tensions.

DemirBank, Eurasian Savings Bank, Kompanion Bank, Bakai Bank, DosCredoBank and Bank of Asia also don’t accept Mir cards, the agency said.

According to the Russian news agency RBC, Finka Bank also stopped working with the Russian payment system Mir. However, 18 other commercial banks in the country continue to accept the card, RBC noted.

Last month, several large banks stopped accepting Mir cards in Turkey.

Financial Times, the British business edition, said this was the result of massive pressure from the U.S. government, which believes the Kremlin may want to use any sort of cooperation with Mir as a tool to evade Western sanctions against Russia.

Moreover, according to the U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control, it is going to impose sanctions against any foreign financial entity which facilitates operations of the Mir payment system outside Russia.

There are no banks in Kazakhstan that currently issue Mir cards, although some of them accept these cards for payments or money withdrawals.

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