Mastercard, Visa suspend operations in Russia after invasion –



FILE – Credit cards are on display in Zelienople, Pennsylvania in this file photo dated February 20, 2019. US consumer credit rose in June after three months of decline, but the key category of credit card debt continued to decline. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic, file)

NEW YORK (AP) – Mastercard and Visa are suspending operations in Russia, the companies said Saturday, in the latest blow to the country’s financial system following its invasion of Ukraine.

Mastercard said cards issued by Russian banks are no longer supported by its network and cards issued outside the country will not work in Russian stores or ATMs.

“We do not take this decision lightly,” Mastercard said in a statement, adding that the move came after discussions with customers, partners and governments.

Visa said it is working with customers and partners in Russia to halt all Visa transactions in the coming days.

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

The suspensions follow more limited action earlier in the week to ban financial institutions from the networks that serve as arteries for the payments system. The Russian people have already been hit hard by severe sanctions and fines imposed by the US government and others.

Since the invasion of Ukraine, the value of Russia’s ruble has fallen by more than a third to a record low. That’s fueling inflation for Russian households, and all that fear has helped create some tremendously long ATM lines.

Many other companies around the world have also taken steps to increase financial pressure on Russia and its people over its attack on Ukraine. Some are selling their stakes in Russian companies like energy giant BP, while others like Harley-Davidson have halted product shipments to the country.

“This war and the ongoing threats to peace and stability require that we respond in accordance with our values,” said Visa’s Kelly. Mastercard, Visa suspend operations in Russia after invasion –

Russell Falcon

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