According to information that the president of the Central Bank of Venezuelan, Calixto José Ortega Sánchez, shared with Sputnik News, Venezuelan officials expect the Russian Mir payment system to be operational in the South American country as early as this year.
“We have the will for this system to be working this year if possible. I think that the most important thing is to have the will, that is what at this moment is determining the speed with which the project is being reviewed,” said Ortega Sánchez during the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF).
He specified that tomorrow, on Friday, June 17, his team will meet with Vladimir Komlev, general director of the Russian National Card Payment System, which manages the Mir system.
Regarding the option for Venezuela and Russia to make payments to each other in national currencies, Ortega Sánchez stressed that he sees it as possible and stressed that the objective is for this process “to be something automatic.”
He added that both countries are currently discussing this matter.
“At this moment there are already Russians who with their rubles in Russia sell them to us as the Central Bank, or in the foreign exchange market, they offer them; and there are people who need rubles and have local currency and they give the bolivars to Russian investors to exchange for rubles,” explained the president of the Central Bank of Venezuela.
When referring to the projections for the gross domestic product (GDP) of Venezuela, Ortega Sánchez pointed out that for this year the Central Bank has a “projection of two-digit growth.”
“We hope it will materialize, we are cautiously optimistic, but that is what we are hoping for, that the growth behavior that the economy has had since the last half of 2021 will continue throughout 2022,” he said.
Also, the president of the Central Bank of Venezuela expressed his conviction that it is necessary to prevent, as soon as possible, that international companies from the West dominate the sector of payment systems.
“We cannot delay it any longer, because if we continue to wait for these international companies, from the West, to dominate the monopoly they have in payment systems, sooner or later they will be used by some country against another country as a political weapon and it will affect the daily lives of our citizens,” said Ortega Sánchez.
Therefore, the president of the Venezuelan Central Bank stressed that it must be “avoided at all costs.”
He specified that Venezuela itself has already taken certain steps to achieve this objective.
“In the case of Venezuela, we have advanced conversations with our Russian, Turkish and Chinese partners, also in a way centered not only on technological cooperation but also on materially being able to achieve that the Mir card –and a card that has also been developed in Türkiye– can be used in Venezuela when residents of these countries visit our country,” said Ortega Sánchez.
The SPIEF is an annual business event held in the Russian city of Saint Petersburg, whose 25th edition is taking place from June 15 to 18, 2022.
Translation: Orinoco Tribune