Southern African state may join Russia’s Mir Payment System – envoy

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Angolan ambassador to Russia says national currencies will be used for mutual settlements

Angola may join the Mir payment system, developed by Russia in response to Western sanctions, and allow the use of MIR cards in the country, RIA Novosti reported on Saturday, citing Luanda’s Ambassador to Russia Augusto da Silva Cunha.

“Technically, the use of the Mir system in Angola is possible … I believe that Angola can join this system, but under condition of worthwhileness,” he said.

“This will crucially depend on the level of our financial and economic relations as well as on the amount of investments in the country. The Angolan government is fully open to Russian investors, and if their share is significant, then, of course, it would be rational and logical to join this system and accept it,” da Silva Cunha added.

The envoy also said that the two nations may switch to mutual settlements in national currencies, adding that the Russian ruble could easily be used for this purpose.

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Russia started developing its own national payment system when the US targeted it with sanctions in 2014. Back then clients of several Russian banks were temporarily unable to use Visa and Mastercard due to the restrictions. 

Since the introduction of the new system, Russian banks have already issued more than 129 million MIR cards. They are currently accepted in Turkey, Vietnam, Armenia, South Korea, Uzbekistan, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, South Ossetia and Abkhazia.

Earlier this month, Indian media reported that the country’s ATMs and terminals may soon start accepting Russian MIR debit and credit cards, while Russia was planning to reciprocate and begin accepting Indian RuPay. In July, the head of the economic department of the UAE Embassy in Moscow, Ahmed Al-Ketb, said the nations had started negotiating an agreement that would allow the use of the Mir payment system cards in the Gulf state.

For more stories on economy & finance visit RT’s business section



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