Kyrgyz Minister: Dependence on Western Technology to Blame for Russian Payment Ban


Kyrgyzstan’s Minister of Economy and Commerce Daniyar Amangeldiev recently took part in an international industrial exhibition in Yekaterinburg, Russia. In an interview with Russian media, Amangeldiev said that Kyrgyzstan has faced problems because of its dependence on western technology. It is for this reason, he said, that the country had to suspend the service of Russian ‘MIR’ payment cards in April this year.

MIR payment cards stopped being accepted in Kyrgyzstan at the request of Elkart, the Interbank Processing Center (IPC) that services the Kyrgyz payment system.

Amangeldiev commented: “The sanctions applied to the Russian Federation are also reflected in our economy. The software on which “Elkart” is based belongs to European partners. We are forced to refuse service to MIR cards because it would have undermined our domestic payment system.”

Amangeldiev emphasized that Kyrgyzstan is currently developing its own payment software, which will allow payments using Russian cards. Kyrgyzstan’s prime minister, Akylbek Japarov, has noted that a fully functioning payment system is needed most of all by Kyrgyz labor migrants working in Russia.