Kremlin: Russia prepares to part ways with Visa and Mastercard

Russia is "hedging its risks" in the event of a disconnection from international payment systems, including Visa and Mastercard, said Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov.

According to him, such a scenario "cannot be ruled out" given the "unfriendly and sometimes even hostile behavior" of Western countries.

"Restrictions on Russia are used by a number of countries that as such an illegal from the international law point of view deterrent for Russia," Peskov said.

He added that the process had taken an “unpredictable characteristic” and the best way to insure against risks was to create similar systems to "strengthen sovereignty in all sectors of the economy and banking."

"This process started, you know, when the conversations about Visa and MasterCard first began. Gradually, gradually, not without problems, but the national payment system "Mir" began to be created," Peskov recalled.

From 2018, all salaries of government employees have been transferred to Mir cards, and the system, according to Peskov, has "strengthened."

Although "it has not yet been adopted worldwide" and only a few countries in the world support the Russian card (and then at the level of individual banks), "this system will eventually become widespread globally," Peskov said, adding that "now, no one has doubts."

Earlier, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in an interview with IRNA agency that Russia sees the need to switch to national or alternative currencies in settlements with other states and is actively engaged in phasing out Western-controlled payment systems. He stressed that Moscow's position on Washington's sanctions policy remains unchanged. Russia will continue to oppose "any unilateral restrictive measures that also hit the least protected segments of the population."

  Visa, Mastercard, Kremlin, Russia