A picture taken on October 26, 2017 shows the building of the European Central Bank (ECB) in Frankfurt am Main, western Germany.AFP / Daniel ROLAND
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European Union countries must foster payment services that work across the continent to boost its financial sector and reduce dependence on third countries like the United States, a top European Central Bank official said Monday.The same is true of card payments, with national systems like France's Carte Bancaire or Germany's Girocard incompatible with each another, while American services like Mastercard or Visa are accepted almost everywhere.Russia was forced to quickly develop a national payment card service in 2014 after Russian banks' access to the Mastercard and Visa networks came under threat when the United States imposed new sanctions on Moscow following its seizure of Crimea.Maas' appeal was in part motivated by Trump's unilateral withdrawal from a deal with Iran, under which Tehran agreed to freeze its nuclear weapons program in exchange for Western nations lifting sanctions.European capitals want to stick by the pact, but face difficulties protecting their companies doing business in Iran from Washington's financial reprisals.
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