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Foreign trade merchants here suffer

Recently, for fear of being subject to secondary sanctions by the United States and other Western countries, the Turkish state-owned bank announced that it would stop using the Russian “Mir” payment system, which caused many Russian tourists or buyers in Turkey to have payment difficulties. The foreign trade industry has also suffered to varying degrees. Turkish foreign trade operators bluntly said that the United States and other Western countries have created problems everywhere, and they have benefited from their own benefits, but they have made ordinary people in other countries victims.

A street for textiles and leather products in Istanbul has always been popular with Russian tourists. However, Turkish banks have recently announced that they will stop using the Russian “Mir” payment system, which has caused tourists and buyers from Russia to encounter payment difficulties, and this has also brought a lot of impact to the normal business transactions of local merchants.

The “Mir” payment system is a payment and settlement system launched by the Central Bank of Russia in 2014, which can be used in many countries and regions outside the country. Previously, a total of 5 Turkish banks used the “Mir” payment system. Russian tourists can therefore easily pay for consumption while visiting Turkey. In mid-September, the United States announced the expansion of sanctions against Russia, and the new sanctions list included the CEO of the “Mir” payment system. Worried about being subject to secondary sanctions by the United States and other Western countries, relevant Turkish banks have successively announced that they will stop using the “Mir” payment system.

Russian tourist Vitov said: “We have been in Turkey for about three or four days, but there is a problem with the ‘Mir’ payment system, and we cannot shop or spend normally.”

Data show that in the first seven months of 2022, more than 2.2 million Russian tourists entered Turkey. However, as the West increases sanctions against Russia, the consumption of Russian tourists and buyers in Turkey is now blocked, and Turkey’s tourism and foreign trade industries are suffering to varying degrees.

Gul, the owner of a leather foreign trade store in Istanbul, Turkey, said: “45% to 50% of our sales have been affected because of this. Because there is no way to trade normally, our business and Russian customers are in trouble.”

After the outbreak of the Russian-Ukrainian conflict, the United States and other Western countries excluded some Russian banks from the payment system of the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT). Gul said that the leather products, textiles, etc. they export to Russia can be directly settled in lira and rubles, so the business did not suffer much before, but he did not expect the good times to last, and small foreign trade shops like him are now also becoming Victim of Western sanctions against Russia.

Gul believes that it is the United States and other Western countries that continue to fan the flames that have caused the situation in Russia and Ukraine to get out of control. Arms dealers in Western countries have benefited from the Russian-Ukrainian crisis, but his Russian customers, Ukrainian customers and ordinary people, including himself, have suffered. Turkish economists also pointed out that U.S. hegemony will increase the risk of global economic recession, and the world should say no to U.S. hegemony.

“Because of U.S. hegemony, the U.S. may continue to put pressure on Russia through NATO. The U.S. is trying to encircle Russia, the EU is paying for it, the world economy There is also a serious risk of recession. Countries must raise their voices against U.S. hegemony, and if everyone stays silent, it will be harder and the price will be higher.”

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