Understand the impact of the Ukraine conflict from a cross-sector perspective with the Global Data Executive Briefing: Ukraine Conflict

Egyptian banks may soon start transacting with Mir payment cards and with the Russian national currency, TASS reported, citing local newspaper Al-Shorouk.

Economic and tourism industry experts told the news outlet that “the Mir system and transactions with the Russian ruble in Egyptian banks at tourist resorts can be put in place in coming days.”

According to the Egyptian newspaper, local businessmen, hotel operators and owners requested the Central Bank of Egypt to finalise the process to accept the ruble as the trading currency. 

The decision “will be in interests of the tourist sector and will have an overall positive effect for the country’s economy,” the Egyptian business community was quoted by the publication as saying. 

The development comes after Turkish government-backed lenders HalkbankVakıfBank and Ziraat Bank and leading private sector banks Isbank and DenizBank decided to withdraw support for Mir, the Russian equivalent of Visa and Mastercard.

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Last month, the US Treasury said that non-US financial institutions “risk supporting Russia’s efforts to evade US sanctions through the expanded use of the MIR National Payment System outside the territory of the Russian Federation.”

The US authority also said that it is ready to impose sanctions on entities helping Russia circumvent sanctions.

In late February this year, Moscow launched a military offensive against Ukraine, and in retaliation, the US-led western alliance imposed sanctions targeting Russia’s financial services sector among others.