Turkish banks refused to service cards of the Russian payment system «Mir»
Last month, the Treasury warned Turkish companies of the risk of sanctions if they do business with blacklisted Russian entities
A senior US administration official said on Tuesday, that the measures taken by Turkish banks Isbank and Denizbank to suspend the use of the Russian payment system Mir are logical and that more banks will be disconnected from Mir due to the risk of sanctions.
Isbank and Denizbank on Monday announced they would suspend use of the Mir system after Washington last week expanded its sanctions to include the head of the organization that runs the payment system, which is popular with tens of thousands of Russian tourists in Turkey.
“The steps taken by these banks are very logical. Disabling the Mir system is one of the best ways to protect a bank from the sanctions risk that comes with doing business with Russia,” said a source who spoke to reporters on condition of anonymity.
“We expect more banks to shut down Mir because they don't want to risk being sanctioned,” the official added.
Washington and its allies imposed a string of sanctions against Moscow following Russia's invasion of Ukraine , including sanctions against Russian banks and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
NATO member Turkey opposes Western sanctions on Russia as a matter of principle and has close ties to both Moscow and Kyiv. Turkey also condemned the Russian invasion and sent drones to Ukraine.
Nevertheless, according to diplomats, Western countries are increasingly concerned about the growth of economic ties between Turkey and Russia, especially after several meetings between Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan and Putin. including last week in Uzbekistan.
Last month, the US Treasury sent a letter to large Turkish companies warning them of the risk of sanctions if they do business with designated Russian entities.