Bank of Russia is building a system of gateways to foreign payment networks and is currently cooperating with Turkey in this area. Russia’s monetary authorities will also allow experimental use of cryptocurrencies in foreign economic activities, its head is quoted as saying.
Russian Central Bank “actively cooperating” with Turkey on new payment gateway
Governor Elvira Nabiullina said at a meeting with members of the lower house of the Russian parliament that the Central Bank of Russia (CBR) is developing a payment gateway with foreign payment systems and is actively cooperating with Turkey in this area.
Since Visa and Mastercard shut down their Russian operations as part of sanctions over the war in Ukraine, Russians visiting Turkey have had trouble making payments. Since last September, Russian meal cards have not been accepted in many countries.
That same month, Turkish banks also stopped processing payments with Mir after receiving warnings from the United States that financial institutions working with Mir’s operator, CBR’s National Card Payment System, were at risk of being involved in evading Russian sanctions. At the time, Turkish media reported that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan proposed establishing a new payment system between the two countries.
“We have built a system of gateways between payment systems so that payments can be made. This will not work in all countries… Nevertheless, such opportunities will appear,” Nabiulina said, as quoted by Interfax news agency.
As an alternative, the governor explained that they are discussing with each country individually, including the use of prepaid cards and cards issued by each country’s payment system. The Turkish tourism industry has proposed the launch of a card that Russians can use during their stay, loaded with rubles.
Russia is considering ways to circumvent financial restrictions by Western countries over the invasion of Ukraine. One of the ways is believed to be through the use of digital assets, including decentralized cryptocurrencies, which are not yet subject to comprehensive regulation.
Nabiulina also indicated at the congressional meeting that while regulators are opposed to domestic crypto payments, they are open to allowing international crypto payments under an experimental legal regime. These would be done through authorized organizations, she explained, quoting from Tas, adding that the scheme could also work with other digital financial assets.
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