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Putin Announces Plans to Create National Payment System

Published: March 28, 2014 (Issue # 1803)



  • Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said in a similar statement a domestic credit card system is under consideration.
    Photo: premier.gov.ru

Russia will create a national payment system similar to either in Japan or China, President Vladimir Putin announced on Thursday as Moscow struggles to cut its dependence on US-based payment networks.

"These systems work in countries like Japan and China, and they work very well. At first they worked like national, circulating in their own markets on their own territory, for their citizens, and now they are becoming very popular," Putin said during a meeting with members of the upper house of parliament.

He said the Japanese system, which began as a national one, now operates in 200 countries.

"Why don't we do that? We have to do this and we will do this," the president said adding that Russia's central bank is working closely with the government on creating such a system, but this could take some time.

The Russian leader said Thursday Moscow regrets the decision of a number of payment systems to limit their activity in the country adding that as a result they will lose a very profitable market.

Earlier in the day, the head of Russia's central bank, Elvira Nabiullina, also called for the development of a domestic card system to reduce dependence on Visa and Mastercard after US sanctions led to disruptions in their services, but said Moscow has no plans to abandon the US-based payment networks.

Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said in a similar statement Wednesday Russia is not planning to stop using payment services provided by US-based Visa International and MasterCard even though a domestic credit card system is under consideration.

Visa and MasterCard have stopped processing retail and online payments by cardholders at several Russian banks hit by punitive sanctions levied by Washington last week in response to the reunification of Crimea with Russia.

The news signaled the first impact on ordinary Russian citizens by a series of Western sanctions.

President Putin mocked the move, saying he would open an account and have his salary deposited at the US-sanctioned Bank Rossiya.





 


ALL ABOUT TOWN

Thursday, Aug. 28


Learn more about the citys upcoming municipal elections during the presentation of the project Road Map for the Municipal Elections being presented this evening in the conference hall on the third floor of Biblioteka at 21 Nevsky Prospekt. Steve Kaddins, a coordinator for Beautiful St. Petersburg, which gives residents an online forum to lodge complaints about infrastructure problems in the city, will be on hand to answer any questions. The meeting starts at 7 p.m. and is open to all.



Friday, Aug. 29


Park Pobedy will feature the sights and sounds of the world outside of Russia during the Open Art International Festival today. Taste foreign cuisine, learn how to make tea like the Chinese or relax in a hammock during the free event. Although entrance is free, you must register beforehand if you wish to attend.



Saturday, Aug. 30


Break out the tweed and channel your inner Englishman during the English Hunt Picnic this afternoon organized by the Bagmut stables from Krasny Bor in the Leningrad Oblast. Equestrian stunts, English archery and classic hunting fashion will all be available to visitors hoping to live like the characters in Downton Abbey if only for a day. Tickets for the event cost 7,900 rubles ($219.40).


Bookworms will have their chance to swap out well-read classics for something new for their bookshelves at Knigovorot, a free book exchange that will be held in the Yusupov Garden on Sadovaya Ulitsa today. Come for the chance to get a new book or take the opportunity to discuss the literary merits of your favorite authors with fellow fans.



Sunday, Aug. 31


The Neva Delta International Blues Festival wraps up this afternoon on Vasilevsky Island with a concert featuring not only some of Russias best blues bands but international stars as well. Admission is free for all three days of the festival, which begins on Aug. 29, and the shows starting at 5 p.m. each day.



Monday, Sept. 1


Today marks the beginning of Lermontov-Fest, a fall festival celebrating the life of one of Russias most remarkable poets who, in a fate eerily similar to Pushkins, was killed in a duel at the age of 26. Organized by the Lermontov Library System, the next several months will see art exhibitions, concerts and public lectures focusing on the Lermontovs short yet prolific career. Check the Lermontov Library Systems website for more details.



Tuesday, Sept. 2


Join expats and practice your Russian during the Russian Clubs weekly meetings every Tuesday night at 7:30 p.m. The club is free to participate in although you need to be a registered member of Couchsurfing.



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