Armenian banks stop providing services to Russian "Mir" cards

Armenian banks stop providing services to Russian "Mir" cards
# 30 March 2024 13:11 (UTC +04:00)

Armenian banks on Friday said they would stop processing transactions made by Russian Mir payment cards, APA reports citing The Mountaineer.

In September 2022, the US Treasury Department threatened foreign banks with secondary sanctions for servicing Mir cards, a Russian card payment system.

The Union of Banks of Armenia said the country's commercial banks "will stop servicing Mir cards as of Saturday, because of the risk of secondary sanctions."

An exception will be made for Mir cards issued by the Armenian subsidiary of Russia's state-controlled VTB Bank, it added.

Thousands of Russians fled to Armenia amid a crackdown on dissent and fears of being drafted for the war. Armenian companies have also been re-exporting Western-manufactured consumer goods to Russia.

Yerevan has been drifting from Moscow since 2020, when it lost a war to Azerbaijan. Relations further soured last year when Baku took control of the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region in a lightning offensive.

Yerevan has complained that Moscow failed to protect it in the face of a persistent security threat from Azerbaijan.

Ditching the use of Mir cards is the latest in a string of diplomatic rows between the two countries.