©Reuters. File photo of the facade of the Central Bank of Russia Mar 29, 2021. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov
(Reuters) – The central banks of China and Russia will discuss the use and promotion of their respective national payment systems in both countries, Beijing’s envoy to Moscow said in an interview published by the TASS news agency on Thursday.
“As for the promotion and use of the Mir and China UnionPay national payment systems in both countries, this issue will be decided by the central banks of the two sides in consultations,” said Zhang Hanhui.
Mir and UnionPay are among the few remaining options for Russians to make payments abroad since Russian banks were cut off from the global financial system in response to what Moscow calls its “special military operation” in Ukraine.
Visa Inc (NYSE:) and MasterCard (NYSE:) Inc are among the many Western companies that have suspended operations in Russia.
China has refused to condemn Russia’s actions in Ukraine and has criticized the unprecedented Western sanctions imposed on Moscow. The two countries have strengthened their ties in recent years, even announcing a “no-limits” partnership in February.
The ambassador said China would make use of a clearing bank for yuan operations on Russian soil to ensure the sustainable development of domestic trade, which Russia expects to reach 200 billion U.S. dollars by 2024.
He also said that China and Russia do not advocate the rejection of dollar and euro settlements in bilateral trade.