Mastercard and Visa suspend operations in Russia
Mastercard and Visa said they would suspend operations in Russia, essentially barring cardholders there from transacting outside the country in response to Ukraine’s invasion.
The suspension, announced on Saturday evening, would prevent MasterCard and Visa cards issued by Russian banks from working in other countries and prevent people with cards issued in other countries from buying goods and services from companies in Russia.
But other transactions can still go on. Officials from both companies said cards with the MasterCard or Visa logo issued by Russian banks can still operate inside the country, as transactions are handled by a local processor.
In a statement, Mastercard – which has operated in Russia for more than 25 years – said it had not taken the decision lightly. “As we take this step, we join many others and look forward to a more positive, productive and peaceful future for all of us,” the company said.
Visa said it planned to “close” all Visa transactions within Russia in the coming days. A spokesperson for the company said those transactions should be cut off within a week.
Al Kelly, president and chief executive officer of Visa Inc., said in a statement: “This demand of war and the ongoing threat to peace and stability we respond in line with our values.”
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