Friday, Aug. 19, 2022|
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NEW YORK — Mastercard and Visa are suspending their operations in Russia, the companies said Saturday, in the latest blow to the country’s financial system after its invasion of Ukraine.
Mastercard said cards issued by Russian banks will no longer be supported by its network and any Mastercard issued outside the country will not work at Russian stores 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 said it’s working with clients and partners in Russia to cease all Visa transactions over 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.
The twin suspensions were announced within 16 minutes of each other, and they followed a private video call earlier in the day between President Volodymyr Zelenskyy of Ukraine and U.S. lawmakers. During that conversation, Zelenskyy “asked us to turn off MasterCard and Visa for Russia,” Rep. Brad Sherman, a Democrat from California, tweeted. “I agree,” he added, before Mastercard and Visa made their announcements.
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