Russia eyes unified payment systems with China - media
Russia wants a mutually-compatible payments system with China in order to reduce the risk from further financial sanctions by the West, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said in an interview, according to the Pakistani online media outlet Daily Times.
Russia has presented a brand new national payment system to cut reliance on Western systems, such as Visa and MasterCard, who stopped providing services to clients of one Russian bank after Washington imposed sanctions over Moscow's aggression against Ukraine, according to Daily Times.
Medvedev, who is to meet his Chinese counterpart in Russia next week, told China Central Television that Moscow was looking for ways to make Russia's new system compatible with Chinese payments systems.
The Russian payment system is called Mir, which translates as "World" or "Peace", while China has a system called UnionPay.
"We are currently considering ways of harmonizing our national payments system; both the card that we are going to issue, the Mir card, on the one hand, and the UnionPay system, on the other hand. We believe that this would enhance the reliability of financial settlements," Medvedev said, according to an interview transcript released by his office.
Russia readies for life without SWIFTMedvedev said his proposal would cut reliance on global payment systems, including SWIFT. "I believe that the use of the yuan in mutual settlements, the use of positions opened in yuan and rubles, mutual financial transaction technologies, and the use of co-branding cards - all of this is very useful for our countries," Medvedev said, according to the transcript.
FT: Western sanctions 'pushing Russia towards closer ties with China'Visa and MasterCard stopped providing services for payment transactions for clients at private lender Bank Rossiya, under U.S. sanctions over Russia's illegal annexation of Crimea from Ukraine and support for separatists in eastern Ukraine.