Cuba will use the Russian monetary system for transactions.

MIR cards from Russia can be used at ATMs in Havana to get cash in pesos.

The payment system announced on Tuesday that Cuban banks have begun to accept MIR cards, which are Russia’s version of Visa and Mastercard.

Several banks in Havana have put in ATMs that show the logo of the MIR system and allow Russian bank cards to be used to get cash in Cuban pesos.

“The MIR payment system continues to work on making it easier for cards to be used in friendly countries like Cuba,” the network’s press service said. It also said that the system’s main goal right now is to make it possible to use MIR cards in Cuban shops, restaurants, and other retail locations.

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In December, Russia started offering direct flights to Cuba, which is a popular holiday spot for Russians. Moscow and Havana are trying to improve their business relationships by opening a Russian trading house in Havana.

When the US put sanctions on Russia in 2014, the country began building its own national payment system.

Last year, when more sanctions were put on Moscow because of its military operation in Ukraine, including blocking many Russian banks from using SWIFT, the government started promoting the domestic system as a reliable alternative.

The SPFS in Russia makes sure that financial messages can be sent between banks inside and outside of the country.


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