Cuban banks have started accepting MIR cards, Russia’s alternative to Visa and Mastercard, the payment system announced on Tuesday.
Several banks in Havana have installed ATM’s displaying the logo of the MIR system, and offering the option to withdraw cash using Russian bank cards in Cuban pesos.
The MIR payment system continues to work on expanding the acceptance of the cards in friendly countries including Cuba, the network’s press service noted, that it is now focused on enabling transactions using MIR cars in Cuban shops, restaurants and other retail outlets.
Russia launched direct flights to Cuba in December 2022, as the Caribbean country is a popular destination for Russian tourists. Moscow and Havana are seeking to boost their economic ties, with a Russian trading house opening in the Cuban capital.
Russia started developing its own national payment system when the USA targeted the country with sanctions in 2014.
Last year, as Moscow was hit by further sanctions in response to its military operation in Ukraine, including the blocking of many Russian banks from SWIFT, the government started promoting the domestic system as a reliable alternative.
Russia’s SPFS ensures the transfer of financial messages between banks both inside and outside the country.
Russian firms are considering investing in new hotel infrastructure in Cuba, which would further strengthen the growing economic cooperation between the two countries, according to the Russian Deputy Prime Minister.
Dmitry Chernyshenko told reporters on Friday that Russia plans to increase the number of direct charter flights to Cuba soon so that its citizens can have a year-round opportunity for a beach holiday in a friendly country.
The announcement was made during a working visit to Cuba by Chernyshenko this week, with the official stating that relations between the two have historical significance and are not subject to political conjuncture.
According to the Russian official, mutual trade tripled last year to $452 million. It has continued to grow, increasing nine-fold in the first four months of 2023 compared to the same period a year ago.
RT. com / ABC Flash Point News 2023.
Cuba is the blueprint on how to survive US sanctions.
Love sitting in Havana at the Malecon with a Mujito and showing the middle finger to the evil empire just 90 miles across the water.
This a good sign for Cuba. Russia is a good friend to have. Reliable and trustworthy.
Couldn’t have put that better –roll on the downfall of the evil $$$ –and they brought it on themselves.