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ST. PETERSBURG, July 13. /TASS/. Russian Central Bank’s short-term target is to provide acceptance of the Mir payment cards within the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), the regulator’s Chief Elvira Nabiullina said on Thursday.
"The strategic task for the near years is to provide direct international acceptance of the Mir cards, first of all within the EAEU," she said.
According to Nabiullina, 10.6 mln Mir cards have been issued as of now, with more than 2 mln issued over the past six weeks.
Central Bank’s Deputy Chairman Olga Skorobogatova said in June that the plan is to issue up to 20 mln Mir cards by the end of 2017.
The need to develop a national payment system in Russia was prompted by the U.S. sanctions imposed in the spring of 2014. Due to the sanctions, the world’s two largest payment systems Visa and MasterCard blocked transactions with the cards of Russia’s Rossiya Bank, its subsidiary Sobinbank, and SMP Bank without any notice on March 21, 2014.
As of May 2017, 356 banks (or 58% of all Russian credit organizations) jointed the Mir system.