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Kazakhstan's Largest Bank Suspends Russia's Mir Payment System.

The Halyk Bank's call center told the Izvestia newspaper on September 21 that Russia's Mir cards cannot be used via terminals and ATMs. (illustrative photo)

The Halyk Bank's call center told the Izvestia newspaper on September 21 that Russia's Mir cards cannot be used via terminals and ATMs. (illustrative photo)

Kazakhstan's largest bank, Halyk Bank (People's Bank), has suspended the use of Russia's Mir payment cards amid warnings by the U.S. Treasury Department about possible sanctions to be imposed on institutions supporting Russia's payment system outside of Russia.

Vietnam's BIDV bank also suspended usage of Mir cards.

The Halyk Bank's call center told the Izvestia newspaper on September 21 that Russia's Mir cards cannot be used via terminals and ATMs. BIDV bank gave Izvestia similar information.

Earlier this week, two Turkish banks -- Isbank and Denizbank -- suspended the withdrawal of cash from the Mir payment system.

Russia has vowed to expand its Mir payment system in friendly countries as Western sanctions attempt to shut it out of international finance over its ongoing unprovoked invasion of Ukraine.

Last week, the U.S. Treasury Department said it was ready to impose sanctions for supporting Moscow’s attempts to expand the use of its Mir payment system outside the Russian Federation.

On September 20, Reuters quoted a senior U.S. administration official who spoke on condition of anonymity as saying that steps by Turkey's Isbank and Denizbank to suspend the use of the Mir payment system "make a lot of sense."

"Cutting off Mir is one of the best ways to protect a bank from the sanctions risk that comes from doing business with Russia. We expect more banks to cut off Mir because they don’t want to risk being on the wrong side of the coalition's sanctions," the official said.

With reporting by Izvestia and Reuters

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