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Latin American country embracing Russia’s Visa alternative – minister

Payments using Mir cards can now be made throughout Venezuela, Yvan Gil Pinto has said

Russia’s Mir payment system is now accepted throughout Venezuela, the country’s Foreign Minister Yvan Gil Pinto announced on Thursday.

Caracas said it was willing to join Russia’s national payment system last year and in June this year began to accept Mir cards.

“Today, the Mir platform allows payments to be made in 100% of the territory of Venezuela, and about 36% of all payment points accept Mir cards,” Pinto told a briefing in Moscow after talks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

He noted that Mir cards could be used at all trade points in one of the country’s most popular resorts, Margarita Island.

In October, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak announced that the Mir payment system was functioning at over 80,000 ATMs in Venezuela.

The Latin American country’s connection to Mir is part of the de-dollarization effort as Moscow and Caracas seek to create conditions for settlements in national currencies.

Russia’s Mir payment system has experienced a steady increase in demand for new cards since last year, according to the system’s operator. Around ten countries worldwide currently use the system, while approximately 15 others have expressed interest in adopting it.

READ MORE: Russia and Venezuela confirm de-dollarization plans

In March, Cuba announced the launch of Russia’s alternative to Western payment cards. Several banks in Havana have installed ATMs displaying the Mir logo, and offer an option to withdraw cash using Russian bank cards in Cuban pesos.

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