Business & Economy

Visa, Mastercard suspend operations in Russia

New York City, Mar 5 (EFE).- Visa and Mastercard on Saturday both announced the suspension of their operations in Russia over its invasion of Ukraine.

In a statement, Visa said that all transactions with its cards issued in Russia will no longer work outside the country, and any cards issued outside of Russia will no longer work in Russia.

“We are compelled to act following Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine, and the unacceptable events that we have witnessed,” Visa Inc chairman and chief executive officer Al Kelly said.

The decisions come a week after the United States and the European Union, along with other Western partners, agreed to remove certain Russian banks from the Swift international payment system, increasing Russia’s disconnection from the international financial system.

Swift is used by 11,000 banks in 200 countries or territories to make transfers.

Last week Visa and Mastercard blocked of Russian financial institutions sanctioned by the US authorities from their network.

Kelly stressed that Visa regrets “the impact this will have on our valued colleagues, and on the clients, partners, merchants and cardholders we serve in Russia. This war and the ongoing threat to peace and stability demand we respond in line with our values.”

Visa said transactions will stop in the coming days.

Mastercard said that “cards issued by Russian banks will no longer be supported by the Mastercard network. And, any Mastercard issued outside of the country will not work at Russian merchants or ATMs.”

The company, which has operated for more than 25 years in Russia, also stressed it has not taken the decision lightly and highlights that “for more than a week, the world has watched the shocking and devastating events resulting from the Russian invasion of Ukraine.”

Visa and Mastercard cards accounted for 74 percent of payment transactions in Russia in 2020, according to the Wall Street Journal

The American Bank JPMorgan Chase said Saturday that it estimates that the Russian economy will contract 7 percent in 2022 due to the war, twice as much as anticipated a few days ago, as a consequence of the sanctions imposed by the West against Moscow and due to the exodus of international companies in the country. EFE


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