Dushanbe City Bank Suspends Russia’s Mir Payment System

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DUSHANBE — One of Tajikistan’s largest banks, Dushanbe City Bank, has suspended operations of Russia’s Mir payment cards in the country, citing technical issues.

Dushanbe City Bank said on September 27 that the “problems with using Mir payment cards” started four days earlier. It gave no further details.

The statement comes amid repeated warnings from the United States and other countries that those who fail to adhere to international sanctions against Moscow for its ongoing unprovoked invasion of Ukraine may themselves face penalties.

On September 23, another Central Asian country, Uzbekistan, said Mir payment cards issued outside the country would no longer work, though those issued locally were still functioning.

Earlier last week, several banks in Kazakhstan, Turkey, and Vietnam suspended the use of Mir payment cards amid warnings by the U.S. Treasury about possible sanctions on institutions supporting Russia’s payment system outside of Russia.

Moscow has vowed to expand its Mir payments system in so-called “friendly countries” as Western sanctions attempt to shut it out of international finance over its war against Ukraine.

Last week Reuters quoted a senior U.S. administration official as saying that steps by Turkey’s Isbank and Denizbank to suspend the use of Russian payment system Mir “make a lot of sense.”

“Cutting off Mir is one of the best ways to protect a bank from the sanctions risk that comes from doing business with Russia. We expect more banks to cut off Mir because they don’t want to risk being on the wrong side of the coalition’s sanctions,” the official said.

 

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