OREANDA-NEWS Nicaragua is ready to explore the use of the Mir payment system, developed by Moscow in response to Western sanctions, and allow the use of Russian credit and debit cards in the country, its Minister of Finance and Public Credit Ivan Acosta told TASS on Monday, on the sidelines of the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok.

“We are now considering various issues of cooperation in the field of finance. I’m still not sure how the Mir card works. We are looking into these issues. We are open to various banking and financial exchange possibilities,” he was quoted as saying by the media.

Acosta also noted that Nicaragua will continue to deepen ties with the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) nations.

Russia started developing its own national payment system when the US targeted the country with sanctions in 2014. Back then clients of several Russian banks were temporarily unable to use Visa and Mastercard due to the restrictions.

Since the introduction of the new payment system, Russian banks have already issued more than 129 million Mir cards. They are currently accepted in Turkey, Vietnam, Armenia, South Korea, Uzbekistan, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, South Ossetia and Abkhazia.

Moreover, Indian ATMs and terminals may soon start accepting Mir debit and credit cards, while Russia is planning to reciprocate and begin accepting India’s RuPay. In July, the head of the economic department of the UAE Embassy in Moscow, Ahmed Al-Ketb, said the nations had started negotiating an agreement that would allow the use of the Mir payment system in the Gulf state.