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Turkey suspends Russian payment system amid tough sanctions

Turkey's Erdoğan listens to Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic

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A key market indicator has plummeted, triggering circuit breakers, sparking fears of a Turkish economic meltdown. Two Ankara banks today suspended the use of Mir following a tightening of restrictions on those accused of helping Moscow avoid the sanctions imposed on it in the wake of the “special military operation” in Ukraine.

Mir is a Russian card payment system for electric fund transfers.

It was establish by the Central Bank of Russia in 2017.

Lenders Isbank and Denizbank have both suspended their use of the payment system.

They announced their decisions separately.

Reuters reports their their decisions “reflect their effort to avoid the financial cross-fire between the West and Russia”.

The Turkish Government has close ties both with Moscow and Kyiv and is pushing for diplomatic talks between the two countries to bring the ongoing conflict to an end.

It also opposes Western sanctions imposed against Russia since February.

Isbank shares tumbled by 10 percent on the same day it announced the news, marking a bad day for Turkey’s economy.

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It told Reuters it was keen to comply with both national and international laws and regulations.

Denizbank also said: “We are currently unable to provide service [in Mir].

“[The bank] acts in accordance with international sanction regulations.”

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Towards the end of last week, Turkey’s banking index tumbled sharply.

On Monday, it fell more than nine percent, triggering a range of circuit breakers halting trading.

A circuit breaker is an emergency regulatory measures under while trading on an exchange is brought to a halt.

Mir has not itself been sanctioned by the White House.

The Bank of Russia’s National Card Payment System, which runs Mir, was, however, targeted by fresh measures.

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