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Kazakhstan Joins Banking Sanctions Against Russian Federation

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Kazakhstan Joins Banking Sanctions Against Russian Federation
PHOTO: ALEXANDER RYUMIN/TASS

Another blow from "allies."

The space for using Mir cards continues to shrink rapidly after the US imposed sanctions on the Russian payment system and threatened secondary measures against banks that ignore them, RBC reported.

Following Armenia and Kyrgyzstan, banks in Kazakhstan, the Kremlin's key trading partner in the post-Soviet space and a member of the CSTO military bloc and the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), are massively refusing to service Russian cards.

Kazakhstan's largest bank, Halyk Bank, has de facto joined the sanctions against Mir. It completely stopped servicing Russian cards, including transfers, payments through terminals and cash withdrawals from ATMs. According to the bank's representative, this happened in February, when the National Payment Card System (NPCS), a 100 per cent subsidiary of the Central Bank of the Russian Federation, responsible for servicing and issuing Mir, fell under blocking US sanctions.

Russian cards are also not serviced at ForteBank, Nurbank, Freedom Bank and CenterCredit Bank, Interfax-Kazakhstan wrote. "You may not even try to find banks in Kazakhstan, these are not sanctions from us, it is the Mir card under sanctions for Kazakhstan," the call centre of CenterCredit said. A representative of ForteBank said that transfers do not pass "because of sanctions".

Only VTB (Kazakhstan) and Bereke bank (former Kazakh "daughter" of Sberbank) continue to work partially with Russian cards in Kazakhstan. At that, the first one allows to withdraw cash from "Mir" in ATMs only in the national currency - tenge, and the second one does not allow to make money transfers.

The day before, the Kyrgyz national payment system "Elkart" announced its refusal to work with Mir. Since the beginning of March, most Armenian banks have refused to work with Mir.

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