Several commercial banks in Kyrgyzstan yesterday suspended money transfers to and from Russia amid exchange rate volatility and issues with payment systems.

AKIpress says Eldik Bank reported that Astrasend, Unistream, Contact, Zolotaya Korona, and Sberbank Online money transfer systems were temporarily down due to technical reasons.

Mbank reportedly announced temporary restrictions on ruble conversions due to the volatility of the exchange rate and possible sharp fluctuations in the foreign exchange market.  However, the bank added that clients’ ruble-denominated accounts were safe.

Commercial Bank KSB informed that all operations on money transfer systems are temporarily unavailable.

Kompanion Bank reported that for technical reasons, sending and receiving transfers in rubles in the Kompanion application and through the Unistream system is not available.

In total, there are 23 commercial banks operating in Kyrgyzstan.

The money transfer suspensions in Kyrgyzstan come a day after Washington revealed a new raft of sanctions to hinder Russia’s war efforts in Ukraine, including restrictions against the Moscow Exchange, which on Thursday halted dollar and euro trade.

The U.S. sanctioned the Unistream transfer system in July 2023, which prompted a number of Kyrgyz banks to temporarily stop using the system.