Why did the head of the Central Bank of Russia secretly come to Turkey?

Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine in February this year put Russia through the toughest embargoes in history. Many global brands have sold their presence in the country, transferred their facilities. However, car manufacturers in particular are making statements one after the other to close their factories in Russia. The consequences of this decision against the Russian politics and economy caused an energy crisis in the world. While the attitude of the Kremlin to be taken in the first days of the war was peculiar, the resignation letter of Elvira Nabiullina, president of the Russian Central Bank, was written in March and it was not accepted by President Vladimir Putin, and it was on the agenda of both Russian and Western media.

The withdrawal of Western payment systems such as Visa and Mastercard from Russia during the sanctions process has become one of the most important problems facing the Russian financial system. The Kremlin financial administration, especially the Central Bank of Russia, led by the Tatar origin Elvira Nabiullina, tried to expand the local payment channel Mir in countries that did not participate in the sanction. Turkey has joined the MIR payment system used by Vietnam, South Korea, Armenia, Uzbekistan, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Kazakhstan. Denizbank, İşbank, Halkbank, Vakıfbank and Ziraat Bank entered the Mir system. The warning sent by the US Treasury Department to both Ankara and the business world in recent weeks has become a turning point. First, Denizbank and İşbank announced that they are leaving the Mir system. In line with the warnings of the US officials, similar news came from the shores of Kazakhstan, Armenia and Kyrgyzstan to avoid being exposed to secondary sanctions.

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Bloomberg HT announced yesterday that state-owned banks will also suspend the Mir system. Another detail in the news was the search for an alternative to replace Mir. Kommersant, Russia’s leading business newspaper, claimed that the Mir and Troy systems will work together so that Russian citizens can continue to make payments in Turkey. Because Troy cards actively cooperate with the American AMEX and Discover systems. Emphasize that if Troy cooperates with Mir, it is predicted that US companies may terminate the existing partnership, and remind that US companies may terminate the existing partnership if Troy cooperates with Mir. In the process, Turkey hosted an important name from Moscow. The actors of this secret visit were, so to speak, the top names of the Russian financial system. A Russian delegation, including the president of the Central Bank of Russia, Elvira Nabiullina, came first to Ankara and then to Istanbul. According to the information I received, Nabiullina met with the managers of Turkish banks. He tried to conduct studies on payment systems. However, the result was not as expected. In fact, Nabiullina, who went to the historical peninsula during her visit, also met Russian citizens living in Istanbul in a famous restaurant that is very popular in Russia.


Both private and public banks suspend and start using Russian payment systems, gradually narrowing Russia’s ties with the world. Russian media sees the participation of state banks in this process as an indication that Turkey cannot remain indifferent to sanctions. I wanted to make another short reminder. In the Russian language, Mir has two meanings. One is the World and the other is Peace It is interesting that the policy implemented by Russia these days threatens both “peace” and “the world”.

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