Turkish bank Ziraat suspends use of Russian payment system Mir

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ISTANBUL, Sept 29 (Reuters) – Turkey’s state-owned lender Ziraat Bank has suspended the use of Russia’s Mir payment system, chief executive Alpaslan Cakar told Reuters on Thursday.

The suspension comes as the United States cracks down on those accused of helping Moscow evade sanctions and Western nations worry about closer economic ties between NATO member Turkey and Russia.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan reportedly said last week that Turkey should take steps to find an alternative to the Mir system “whether we like it or not” because of the sanctions.

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Two private banks, Isbank and Denizbank, suspended their use of the Mir system last week after Washington extended its sanctions against Russia, including targeting the entity that operates the payment system.

But Reuters had reported, based on sources, that state banks could continue to use the Mir system, while offering more transparency and assurances to the West that it was not being used to circumvent sanctions. .

Turkey’s other two state-owned banks, Halkbank and Vakifbank, did not comment on the matter.

Ankara, a NATO member, opposes Western sanctions against Russia and has close ties with Moscow and Kyiv, its Black Sea neighbors. He also condemned the Russian invasion and sent armed drones to Ukraine as part of his diplomatic balancing act.

The Uzbek system UZCARD announced on Friday that it has suspended the processing of payments via Mir cards.

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Reporting by Can Sezer; additional reporting by Ebru Tuncay; Written by Ali Kucukgocmen; Editing by Ezgi Erkoyun and Mark Potter

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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