(Reuters) – The Chinese and Russian central banks will discuss the use and promotion of their respective national payment systems in both countries, Beijing’s envoy to Moscow told the TASS news agency in an interview published on Thursday.
“Regarding the promotion and use of the Mir and China UnionPay national payment systems in both countries, this question will be decided by the two sides’ central banks at consultations,” Zhang Hanhui said.
Mir and UnionPay are among the few options left for Russians to make payments abroad since Russian banks were isolated from the global financial system in response to what Moscow calls its “special military operation” in Ukraine.
Visa Inc and MasterCard Inc are among the many Western companies to have suspended operations in Russia.
China has refused to condemn Russia’s actions in Ukraine and has criticized the unprecedented Western sanctions on Moscow. The two countries have bolstered ties in recent years, including announcing a “no limits” partnership in February.
The ambassador said China would make use of a clearing bank for operations in yuan on Russian territory to ensure the sustainable development of national trade, which Russia expects to reach $200 billion by 2024.
He also said that China and Russia were not advocating for the rejection of U.S. dollar and euro settlements in bilateral trade.
(Reporting by Reuters)