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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

Wednesday, Oct. 22


English teachers can expect to receive a few useful pointers today from Evgeny Kalashnikov, the British Council regional teacher, during the EFL Seminar this afternoon hosted by the British Book Center. The topic of today’s seminar is “Grammar Practice.”


Young Petersburgers will get the chance to jumpstart their careers at “Professional Growth,” a job fair and forum featuring more than 40 major Russian and international companies vying for potential candidates for future positions. The forum not only is a chance to network but also to learn more about the modern business world and to understand what it takes to get the job you want.



Thursday, Oct. 23


AmCham’s Public Relations Committee meeting is scheduled to meet this morning at 9 a.m. in their office in the New St. Isaac Office Center.


Sportsmen get their chance to stock up on all kinds of gear at the Hunting and Fishing 2014 exhibition starting today at Lenexpo. Everything from rods and reels to boats, motorcycles and equipment for underwater hunting will be on sale so that any avid outdoorsman can always be prepared.



Friday, Oct. 24


SPIBA’s ongoing “Breakfast with the Director” series continues today, featuring Tomas Hajek, Managing Director of the Northwest Division at Danone Russia. Hajek will be discussing collaborations between businesses from different cultures. The meeting is at 9 a.m. at the Domina Prestige St. Petersburg hotel and all who wish to attend must confirm their participation by Oct. 23.


Get your gong on at “Sounds of the Universe,” a concert at the city planetarium this evening incorporating six different gongs to create relaxing songs that will transport you upwards into the stratosphere. Tickets are 700 rubles ($17).



Saturday, Oct. 25


AVA Expo, the eighth edition of the event revolving around all things pop culture, returns to Lenexpo this weekend. Geeks, nerds, dweebs and dorks will have their chance to talk science fiction and explore a variety of international pop culture. Tickets for the event can be purchased on their website at avaexpo.ru.



Sunday, Oct. 26


Zenit St. Petersburg returns home for the first time in nearly a month as they host Mordovia Saransk in a Russian Premier League game. Currently at the top of the league thanks to their undefeated start to the season, the northern club hopes to extend the gap between them and second-place CSKA Moscow and win the title for the first time in three years. Tickets are available at the stadium box office or on the club’s website.



Monday, Oct. 27


Today marks the end of the art exhibit “Neophobia” at the Erarta Museum. Artists Alexey Semichov and Andrei Kuzmin took a neo-modernist approach to represent the array of fears that are ever-present throughout our lives. Tickets are 200 rubles ($4.90).



Tuesday, Oct. 28


The Domina Prestige St. Petersburg hotel plays host to SPIBA’s Marketing and Communications Committee’s round table discussion on “Government Relations Practices in Russia” this morning. The discussion starts at 9:30 a.m. and participation must be confirmed by Oct. 24.



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