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Akylbek Japarov comments on cessation of servicing of Mir cards

Deputy Gulya Kozhokulova asked the head of the Cabinet about disabling the Mir payment system at a meeting of the Parliament of Kyrgyzstan.

According to her, servicing of Mir cards is stopped ahead of the tourist season. She noted that this year Kyrgyzstan hopes to welcome about 2 million tourists.

«What should we do being aware of the fact that Russia is our historical, strategic ally. Don’t you think that such a measure will harm our Russian-Kyrgyz economic ties? What should our garment workers, who send products to Russia, do and how will payments be made now?» the deputy addressed the Chairman of the Cabinet.

Akylbek Japarov responded that this was expected from the moment sanctions were introduced against Russia.

«This is not the last sanction, but, unfortunately, the Interbank Processing Center has software and services provided by a Latvian company. It sent a letter that if actions with Mir card are not suspended, it will turn off the Interbank Processing Center. Therefore, we have now temporarily suspended the work of the system. We have a number of mechanisms and activities that cannot be discussed here. We are in a single economic space. We receive $2.5 billion annually from migrants. Our Western partners know about this. In April I will have a series of meetings in Washington, where I will also try to explain the situation that we cannot completely stop our trade and economic relations with Russia. Unfortunately, sanctioned companies pose a threat to our monetary system. We have to act carefully. We will think what to do next within the EAEU,» the head of the Cabinet said.

«Elcard is serviced at the Interbank Processing Center—more than 4 million cards of Kyrgyzstanis. Unfortunately, this is not our war, but national interests will be defended in any case. We will try to secure our economy,» Akylbek Japarov emphasized.

According to him, only 4 percent of tourists had Mir cards in 2023.

It was announced on April 2 that the payment system of Kyrgyzstan would stop servicing Mir cards. The servicing was ceased due to the termination of relations with National Payment Card System JSC. The decision was made to minimize the risk of secondary sanctions.