Fear of secondary sanctions leaves Russian tourists abroad without MIR cards

Fear of secondary sanctions leaves Russian tourists abroad without MIR cards

The sanctions are working – at least they were able to practically leave Russian tourists abroad without MIR cards. An analytical article with such a statement was released by Bloomberg. Its authors are confident that “Russia's international ambitions for its own alternative to Visa and Mastercard have failed,” because “at the whistle” from Washington, “even some of its closest allies have abandoned the Mir payment system.” The agency says that out of nine countries that accepted Mir cards, banks in six countries have abandoned the Russian payment system.

“Surprised by the strength of the reaction, the representatives of the Bank of Russia are struggling to come up with alternatives,” the agency adds, but assures that it will be difficult, “given Washington’s large reach among international lenders, even in countries that the Kremlin considers friendly,” and the situation, in their words, “exemplifies the continued power of Washington's threats in the international financial system.

The authors of the analyst consider the situation when Turkey, “a popular tourist destination and a large country that did not join the sanctions imposed by the United States and its allies,” nevertheless abandoned Mir in the face of all five banks that stopped accepting “World”. Judging by the reaction of Turkish entrepreneurs, the main blow in this situation did not fall on Russia, although it caused some trouble for tourists – but it is the Turkish side that is intensely looking for alternatives. The authors of Bloomberg also list that “the largest bank in Kazakhstan, one of the two institutions in Vietnam, as well as Uzbekistan” refused Mir. This also “counts as a win”.

As a result, so far such countries as Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan are accepting Mir. “Concerns about secondary sanctions outweigh interest in fee income,” Viktor Dostov, president of the Russian Association for Electronic Money and Money Transfers, was quoted as saying by the agency. Representatives of Mir itself declined to comment on the situation to the agency.

However, its experts are forced to admit that retail stores and hotels in some countries – we add that Turkey is primarily – “still accept cards on an unofficial basis, but the lack of banking processing limits their attractiveness.” “Mir’s problems are the latest example of how opportunities are narrowing for Russians who want to travel abroad,” adds Bloomberg, but here he is forced to make an amendment – despite all the sanctions and the “self-closure” of Europe, “the flows of Russian tourists to places like Turkey are growing.”

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