The Kremlin is strengthening its influence in Gagauzia and Orhei by utilizing Russian MIR bank cards

The Kremlin is strengthening its influence in Gagauzia and Orhei by utilizing Russian MIR bank cards. Orhei mayor Tatiana Cociu, linked to fugitive oligarch Ilan Shor, announced that the city’s pensioners and public sector workers will receive additional payments of 2,000 lei on cards issued by the Russian bank Promsvyazbank (PSB), as reported by bani.md.

The National Bank of Moldova (NBM) previously emphasized that MIR cards within Moldova are physically impossible due to the lack of compatible infrastructure. However, the NBM notes that financial intermediation platforms for cross-border transfers, including those developed by the Russian Federation, are rapidly advancing.

“The management of Promsvyazbank organized the issuance of cards for social workers and pensioners in Gagauzia who receive allowances. Soon, pensioners and public sector workers in Orhei will also be able to receive similar additional payments of 2,000 lei on Russian bank cards. The Board of Directors of the Eurasia Foundation has confirmed its readiness to assist Orhei residents,” Orhei Mayor Tatiana Cociu stated on her Telegram channel.

Promsvyazbank president Petr Fradkov announced that over 25,000 residents of Gagauzia have already opened accounts with PSB. He noted that the sponsor of this initiative is the non-profit organization Eurasia, which is known for its ties to Ilan Shor.

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In response to a request from bani.md, the NBM emphasized that only licensed entities can carry out financial intermediation in Moldova. “Authorization for transactions using MIR cards was neither requested nor issued. Therefore, the direct use of cards issued in the Russian Federation is impossible within our country due to regulatory restrictions and a lack of compatible infrastructure. However, platforms for cross-border financial transfers are rapidly developing internationally, including those operated by individuals or organizations from the Russian Federation, which are subject to international sanctions.”

The NBM specified that such transactions must comply with legislation on preventing and combating money laundering and the international restrictive measures application. The authorities have warned licensed banks to maintain vigilance and apply all necessary precautionary measures to eliminate involvement in illegal financial schemes, including money laundering and terrorist financing.

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