By John Meyer, business and finance consultant. Eurasia Business News, September 29, 2022

Turkish state bank Ziraat Bank has stopped using the Russian payment system “Mir” and no longer serves its cards, reported Reuters with reference to the CEO of the bank Alpaslan Cakar. Earlier, information that the state banks of Turkey, following the private ones, abandoned the Mir system, appeared in the media, but there was no official confirmation.

The termination of operations with Russian cards in Ziraat Bank was confirmed by local sources in Istanbul and Moscow. Asked about conducting operations with Mir, a representative of the bank said: “No, they are not carried out.”

On September 19, major Turkish banks Is Bankasi and DenizBank stopped servicing Russian Mir cards, after the United States promised to impose sanctions for Russia’s assistance in circumventing U.S. restrictive measures. On September 28, media sources reported that operations with the Mir card were stopped by Ziraat Bank, Vakifbank and Halkbank. On September 23, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan instructed ministers to develop alternatives to the Mir banking payment system with Russia.

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In early August, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that during talks on August 5 with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Sochi, an agreement was reached on the payment in rubles of trade between the two countries. In particular, it is planned to increase the turnover of bilateral trade to $100 billion. The Turkish president added that there is “serious progress” in implementing the recognition of the Russian Mir bank card by Turkish banks.

Turkey’s exports to Russia amounted to USD 5.77 Billion in 2021, according to the United Nations COMTRADE database on international trade. Russian exports to Turkey reached USD 26.43 billion in 2021.

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