Visa, Mastercard to suspend operations in Russia

Visa, Mastercard to suspend operations in Russia

Card payment companies Visa and Mastercard say they will suspend operations in Russia, joining a growing list of international companies refusing to do business with Moscow over its invasion of Ukraine.

The moves, following a request by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy earlier on Saturday, deal another blow to Russia’s financial sector and are set to further isolate its sanctions-hit economy.

Mastercard announced that cards issued by Russian banks would no longer be supported by its network and any card issued outside the country would not work at Russian shops or ATMs.

“We don’t take this decision lightly,” Mastercard said in a statement, adding that it made the move after discussions with customers, partners and governments.

Visa also said cards issued in Russia would no longer work outside the country, adding that it was working with clients and partners in Russia to cease all Visa transactions in the coming days.

“We are compelled to act following Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine, and the unacceptable events that we have witnessed,” Visa Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Al Kelly said in a statement.

US President Joe Biden, in a call with Zelenskyy, welcomed the companies’ decisions.

“President Biden noted his administration is urging security, humanitarian, and economic assistance to Ukraine and is working closely with Congress to secure additional funding,” a White House readout of the call said.

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