Erdoğan to convene meeting on Russian Mir cards, possible sanctions - Reuters

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is preparing to convene a top level economy-focused meeting on Friday that will cover Russian payment system Mir and possible Western sanctions, Reuters reported on Thursday, citing two sources with information on the matter.

Government officials and others are set to address agreements with Russia, recent Istanbul stock exchange volatility and the general economic situation, the sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, told the agency.

Earlier this week, two of Turkey’s largest banks suspended their acceptance of the Mir system following warnings from Washington of punishment for sanctions evasion, Bloomberg reported. Turkey is among eight countries, most of which are Russia-friendly, that accept Mir cards.

Turkey has played a mediating role in the Russia-Ukraine war and has refused to impose sanctions on Moscow. Ankara has established close relations with Russia, cooperating in Syria and buying S-400 air defence missiles from Moscow in 2019.

The United States in August warned that there was a risk of penalties for Turkish companies if they worked with sanctioned Russians and last month, the U.S. Treasury sent a letter to big Turkish businesses warning they risked penalties if they maintained commercial ties with sanctioned Russians.

Friday’s meeting arrives as  Turkish lira on Thursday sunk to record lows of 18.38 against the dollar after the country’s central bank lowered the benchmark rate by 1 percentage point, to 12 percent, despite soaring inflation, the Associated Press reported.

Turkish inflation in August measured at 80.2 percent, speeding up for the 15th consecutive month and the highest level in 24 years.

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