In the recent news, US card payment firms, Visa and Mastercard have announced to suspend operations in Russia, joining a growing list of international companies refusing to do business with Moscow over its Ukraine invasion. This action follows the request made by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy earlier on Saturday, which deals another blow to Russia’s financial sector and is set to further isolate its sanctions-hit economy.
Visa and Mastercard Suspends Their Operations in Russia Over Ukraine Invasion
Mastercard declared that cards issued by Russian banks would no longer be supported by its network and any card issued outside the country would not function at Russian shops or ATMs. “We don’t take this decision lightly,” Mastercard said in a statement, continuing that it made the move after discussions with customers, partners, and governments over the Ukraine invasion.
Furthermore, Visa also said cards issued in Russia would no longer work outside the country, adding that it was working with customers and partners in Russia to discontinue 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 about the Ukraine invasion.
In addition to this, 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. The two credit card giants, Visa and Mastercard had already declared that they were conceding with US and international sanctions charged on Russia following the February 24the Ukraine invasion.
Russian Banks Downplay the Cards Suspension
Moreover, Russia’s prominent banks, including its largest lender Sberbank and the Russia Central Bank, de-emphasized the effects the card suspensions of Visa and Mastercard would have on their clients. “All Visa and Mastercard bank cards issued by Russian banks will continue to operate normally on Russian territory until their expiration date,” the Russia Central Bank said, cautioning Russians traveling abroad, however, that should carry alternate means of payment.