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Samsung Pay will stop working with Russian Mir cards in April

by Nate Ostiller and The Kyiv Independent news desk March 27, 2024 2:13 PM 2 min read
A Tinkoff Bank JSC bank card with the Mir payment system logo in Riga, Latvia, on Nov. 22, 2022. (Andrey Rudakov/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
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The Samsung Pay system will stop working with Russian Mir cards as of the beginning of April, according to a message posted on Samsung's website on March 27.

The Mir payment system was instituted following Russia's illegal annexation of Crimea in 2014 after international sanctions began to limit the usage of international cards.

Their usage exponentially increased after the beginning of the full-scale invasion of Ukraine in 2022 and the subsequent withdrawal of the major card issuers Visa and Mastercard from Russia.

The Russian state-controlled media outlet RBC reported earlier in March that most Armenian banks would stop accepting cards using the Mir payment system at the end of the month.

Samsung wrote that the majority of Mir card's functionality on Samsung Pay will end on April 3, such as the ability to pay for transport or add new cards directly from a bank app.

Existing Mir cards on the app will be automatically removed.

Apple Pay and Google Pay ended the ability to use Mir cards on their platforms after the beginning of the full-scale invasion.

Samsung's decision was likely connected to the announcement of new U.S. sanctions against the Russian National Payment Card system (NSPK) in February 2024, which coincided with the second anniversary of the full-scale war and the death of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny at a penal colony in Russia.

The U.S. has sought to increase the reach of its measures against Russia, including moves to target banks around the world that do any business with the American financial system.

As the new measures announced in December 2023 levy potential consequences against institutions that even inadvertently work with sanctioned entities, some Chinese banks have ended their operations in Russia.

U.S. Deputy Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo said in February 2024 that the measures had reduced the flow of Russian funds to third-party countries.

Bloomberg: Russian oil trade feels pressure of Western sanctions in India
Russia’s oil industry is starting to feel the pressure of Western sanctions as Indian refineries no longer accept tankers of Moscow’s state-owned state-run Sovcomflot shipping company, Bloomberg reported on March 23.
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