After US Treasury threats, Turkey seeks alternative to Mir with Moscow
Washington threatens Turkey, and Ankara is taking two steps back.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has instructed ministers to figure out alternatives to the Russian payment system, the Mir system, with Moscow, Turkish broadcaster A Haber reported on Friday.
The concerned Turkish and Russian ministers have already conducted negotiations, A Haber said, adding that Erdogan would be holding consultations on the issue within the next few hours.
The Turkish media outlet did not specify the alternatives, however.
The US Treasury announced on September 15 that it would be imposing sanctions against financial institutions that use the Mir payment system outside Russian borders.
After Washington's threat, some Turkish banks broke ties with Mir, while others remained on the same line, including Ishbank and Denizbank.
Hakan Topkurulu, a Turkish politician, warned Ankara against succumbing to US sanctions regarding the Mir payment system.
According to the Turkish newspaper Aydinlik, Topkurulu said: "The Atlantic front is trying to isolate Turkey from Russia and its neighbors to drag it into a situation in which it will succumb to sanctions. If Turkey succumbs to pressure today, other sanctions against the country may be on the agenda," reminding that the US treasury department previously threatened Turkish businessmen against cooperating with Russia.
While pointing out that Russia's economy was able to withstand US sanctions due to its national payment system after Mastercard and Visacard services were eliminated, the politician called on the government to develop its own national financial system and warned that Turkey might face a similar situation to Russia, stressing that it must be prepared.
In late August, the US Deputy Secretary of Treasury Adewale "Wally" Adeyemo informed Turkey's Deputy Finance Minister Yunus Elitas that Turkey's increased cooperation with Russia could result in sanctions against Turkish businesses and banks.