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Russian parliament approves homegrown credit card system

Published on Apr 26, 2014 12:17 AM

MOSCOW (AFP) - Russia's lower house of parliament on Friday approved the creation of a national credit card system, seen as a bid to reduce dependance on the West amid the threat of sanctions over the Ukraine crisis.

Lawmakers in the State Duma gave speedy approval in second and third readings within a day of the project that has already been blessed by President Vladimir Putin who is keen to shed the dependance of Russian economy on Western systems.

Mr Putin said last month that such a system should be introduced in Russia, after the United States blacklisted several banks, notably those affiliated with Bank Rossiya, describing it as a "personal bank" for Russian senior officials.

The banks saw their customers barred from using Visa and MasterCard credit cards last month.

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