Financial Times: Mir cards are blocked in Turkey at the request of the US

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Financial Times: Mir cards are blocked in Turkey at the request of the US
Financial Times: Mir cards are blocked in Turkey at the request of the US
15 September, 17:02PoliticsPhoto: Соцсети
America and its allies intend to ensure that the Turkish authorities strictly follow the sanctions restrictions imposed by them against Russia.

As Novye Izvestia has already reported, the Mir payment system notes individual cases of refusals to conduct transactions with cards of Russian banks under sanctions and monitors the situation.

The industry site TourDom.ru was the first to report problems with Mir cards in Turkey. Representatives of two Turkish hotel chains also spoke about the refusal to accept Russian cards. One of the networks clarified that the transactions were stopped at the direction of the Central Bank of Turkey.

A little later, Vladimir Komlev, Director General of the National Payment Card System, said that “we don’t have any problems in Turkey now”. According to him, refusals to service Mir cards are isolated and are observed among clients of banks that have fallen under sanctions.

However, the matter seems to be much more serious: the fact that Turkish ATMs and hotels stop accepting Mir cards has a very clear sanctions background: the United States has targeted banks that work with the Russian payment system, writes Financial Times, citing its sources.

“We will send a clear message that third-country financial institutions should not connect to the Mir payment system, because, as you know, this involves some risks of avoiding sanctions,” one of the FT’s interlocutors told, specifying that the West intends to focus on the issue of sanctions evasion in the financial sector.

“We need to close the loopholes,” a second source confirmed to the FT. Turkey could become a prime target for Western efforts to enforce sanctions, he said.

As you know, Turkey has not joined the sanctions against Russia, however, Turkish officials have repeatedly stated that the country will not become a loophole for evading sanctions, and cooperation with Russia takes place within the framework of restrictive measures imposed by the West.

US Deputy Secretary of the Treasury Wally Adeyemo already warned Turkish companies in August about the possible risks of cooperation with Russian organizations under sanctions, the Agency recalls.

The US intends to step up pressure on Turkey and the European Union to stop what it sees as aid in evading Western sanctions. As part of this effort, the EU is preparing a delegation to Turkey, the sources said. The country should visit the European Commissioner for Financial Affairs Mairead McGuinness.

Now five largest Turkish banks are connected to the Mir system: Vakıfbank, Ziraat Bank, İş Bank, DenizBank and Halkbank. Two of them - DenizBank and Halkbank, which was accused of helping Iran evade US sanctions - joined the Russian payment system after the invasion. İş Bank and DenizBank, in response to a request from the FT, stated that they were complying with the sanctions against Russia, the rest of the banks did not respond to the request.

The United States and Europe intend to fight the evasion of sanctions against Russia not only in Turkey, but also in the countries of the Caucasus, Central Asia and the Persian Gulf, FT sources say. “Russia will knock on every door. And every country should remember that we will be monitoring this and talking to them,” said James O'Brien, sanctions coordinator at the US State Department.

The efforts of the West indicate that now the US and EU are more focused on complying with existing sanctions than on introducing new restrictions, writes FT. In particular, according to the publication, Western countries intend to fight those who make payments on behalf of the Russians, and with companies that help create parallel payment networks for Russia.

The US and EU will also pursue entities that help Russia generate export revenues or facilitate the supply of industrial and defense products whose imports to Russia are prohibited by sanctions, three FT interlocutors say. Those involved in the Russian IT sector, e-commerce and cybersecurity are also expected to strengthen the sanctions regime, two officials said.

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