Russian President Vladimir Putin announced last week a plan to establish a national payment system in an effort to reduce the country’s dependence on U.S.-based payment networks.
The U.S. and European Union imposed economic sanctions against Russia last month after Russian troops moved into Crimea, which was recently annexed by Russia in referendum, RIA Novosti reports.
The sanctions caused disruptions in Visa and MasterCard’s services, leading Putin and Elvira Nabiullina, the head of Russia’s central bank, to call for the development of a domestic card system, which Putin said would be similar to that of Japan and China.
Despite the impact of the sanctions and the country’s plan to develop its own payment system, Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said the country would not stop using U.S.-based payment services.
“These systems work in countries like Japan and China, and they work very well,” Putin said, according to RIA Novosti. “At first they worked like national, circulating in their own markets on their own territory, for their citizens, and now they are becoming very popular.”
Putin said the Japanese system, which originally began as a domestic system, currently operates in 200 countries.
“Why don’t we do that? We have to do this and we will do this,” Putin said, adding that the country’s central bank will collaborate with the government in building the system, RIA Novosti reports.