Uzbekistan suspends Russian Mir payment system

Uzbekistan on Friday suspended Russia’s alternative payment system Mir, following US pressure to shut down several countries using the service.

Russia developed Mir in 2015 to evade Western sanctions after annexing Crimea, but it has come under US surveillance since Russia sent troops to Ukraine.

According to Uzcard, an interbank processing center in the former Soviet republic, meal card services have been suspended in Uzbekistan from 09:00 (04:00 GMT) due to “technical procedures”.

However, the Uzcard and Mir co-branded card is “operating as usual” in Uzbekistan, Uzcard said.

The suspension came a week after Russian President Vladimir Putin attended a regional summit in Uzbekistan.

Turkey, a popular destination for Russians, is set to make a decision on Friday on a possible suspension of bank cards in the country.

A few days ago, the US threatened financial sanctions against Turkish banks that continue to use Mir.

Russia began developing its own domestic payment system in 2015 following Western sanctions over Russia’s annexation of Crimea the previous year.

As a result, a card payment system called Mir or World was created, which is only accepted in a few countries, including Belarus and Kazakhstan.

Russian authorities hope the card will be accepted worldwide, which will ease the economic hardships Russians currently face while traveling.

Last Friday, Russia’s central bank governor Elvira Nabiullina said Russia was facing “difficulties” in expanding its payment system globally.

According to card issuer statistics, over 100 million meal cards have been issued in the past seven years. This means that more than half of the Russian population has a meal card. Uzbekistan suspends Russian Mir payment system

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