Visa, Mastercard suspend all Russia operations

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In another blow to Russia’s financial system, Visa and Mastercard have announced to suspend all operations in the country in the wake of Ukraine invasion.

Visa said that it will work with its clients and partners within Russia to cease all Visa transactions over the coming days.

Once complete, all transactions initiated with Visa cards issued in Russia will no longer work outside the country and any Visa card issued by financial institutions outside of Russia will no longer work within the Russian Federation, the company said late on Saturday.

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

“We regret the impact this will have on our valued colleagues, and on the clients, partners, merchants and cardholders we serve in Russia,” he added.

Mastercard also decided to suspend its network services in Russia.

“This decision flows from our recent action to block multiple financial institutions from the Mastercard payment network, as required by regulators globally,” said the company.

Mastercard has operated in Russia for more than 25 years.

“We have nearly 200 colleagues there who make this company so critical to many stakeholders. As we take these steps, we will continue to focus on their safety and well-being, including continuing to provide pay and benefits,” Mastercard said.

The company said its cyber and intelligence teams will continue to work with governments and partners around the world “to ensure that stability, integrity and resiliency of our systems continue to guide our operations and response to potential cyber-attacks”.

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