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MIR cards

Cuban Government Advocates for the Use of Russia’s MIR Bank Cards in the Island

MADRID, Spain. – On Thursday, the Cuban government advocated for speeding up the process of enabling the use of MIR Russian bank cards in Cuba.
During the International Economic Forum of Saint Petersburg (SPIEF, by its English acronym) which started this Wednesday and will run until next Saturday, Alberto Quiñones, general manager of Systems, Technology and Development of Cuba’s Central Bank (BCC, by its Spanish acronym), stated: “We are working now for the acceptance of MIR cards in our country.”
“I trust that in the next few weeks the steps necessary to launch the use of MIR system cards will be completed and payments through this system can begin before the end of the year,” stated Quiñones, who was quoted by the Spanish News Agency EFE.
Calixto José Ortega Sánchez, president of the Central Bank of Venezuela, also supported the implementation of the same system in his country.
“We cannot delay it any longer, because if we do, the Western monopoly will win, which could be used as a weapon when the time comes,” added Ortega Sánchez.
With the use of the MIR cards, the governments of Cuba and Venezuela intend to stimulate Russian tourism, as more payment options would be available to Russian visitors.
At present, MIR cards are accepted in Turkey, Vietnam, Armenia, Uzbekistan, Belorussia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, South Ossetia and Abkhazia.
The MIR cards functions as the equivalent of the American Visa and MasterCard, whose services were prohibited in Russia as part of the sanctions against that country for its attacks against Ukraine.
Last April, the Cuban regime announced that MIR cards could start being accepted in Cuba.
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Russia Will Implement Its MIR Payment System in Cuba

MADRID, Spain. – The Russian government is working towards launching the MIR (World) cards in Cuba, cards that are part of the National System of Payment Cards (NSPK), according to Olga Skorobogatova, first vice president of Russia’s Central Bank.
“There are several countries that would like to cooperate with us. For example, Cuba is one of the latest projects we are undertaking at the present time. That means that our citizens will be able to use their Mir cards in Cuba,” stated Skorobogatova.
According to the official news agency Prensa Latina, during a work session of the State Duma, Skorobogatova indicated that other countries are negotiating with Moscow in order to implement the system, although she failed to mention which countries.
The MIR card is the Russian equivalent of the international cards Visa and MasterCard, and it was created in 2016 in order to avoid electronic payment blocks after American companies Visa and MasterCard denied services to several Russian banks as a result of sanctions. Today, the MIR system is accepted mainly by Russian companies like Aeroflot and Russian Railways, and in countries such as Turkey, Vietnam, Armenia, Uzbekistan, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, South Ossetia and Abkhazia.
According to Juan Carlos Escalona, tourism advisor to Cuba’s embassy in Moscow, the use of these cards in Cuba will be “an important step towards the reopening of tourism.”
“Visitors from Russia will be able to pay for services in the island with MIR [cards] as soon as flights resume between both countries,” he added.
By accepting the MIR cards, the Cuban government is laying the groundwork for when normalcy is restored to flights from Russia, which were cancelled last February as a result of its invasion of Ukraine.
The government in Havana expected that Russians would be as much as 20% of international tourist arrival in Cuba in 2022. This goal has been frustrated by the conflict unleashed by the Russian attacks.
According to official data, in 2020 a total of 146,151 Russian tourists came to Cuba. Until mid 2021, more than half of registered tourists were Russian.
Recibe la información de CubaNet en tu celular a través de WhatsApp. Envíanos un mensaje con la palabra “CUBA” al teléfono +1 (786) 316-2072, también puedes suscribirte a nuestro boletín electrónico dando click aquí.

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