Roommates, credit card companies Visa and Mastercard have suspended their operations in Russia effective immediately. According to AP News, today, the companies made a move based on the country’s invasion of Ukraine. Reports state Mastercard issued cards by Russian banks will no longer be supported by its network. Also, any Mastercard issued outside the country will not work at Russian stores or ATMs.
In a statement, the company said, “We don’t take this decision lightly,” and explained that the outcome was discussions with customers, partners, and governments. Visa is also working with its clients and partners in Russia to halt transactions over the coming days. Visa Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Al Kelly said in a statement, “We are compelled to act following Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine and the unacceptable events that we have witnessed.”
The suspensions were announced within 16 minutes of each other, and they followed a private video call made earlier in the day between President Volodymyr Zelenskyy of Ukraine and U.S. lawmakers. As the conversation occurred, California Representative Brad Sherman tweeted that President Zelenskyy “asked us to turn off MasterCard and Visa for Russia,” and he agreed.
Visa, Mastercard, and American Express announced that they would suspend operations in Russia, another blow to the country’s economy in response to its invasion of Ukraine.
Visa and Mastercard aren’t the only companies suspending operations. According to CNBC, PayPal has also followed suit after they received pressure from Ukraine’s minister of digital transformation, Mykhailo Fedorov. Dan Schulman, PayPal’s CEO, said in a letter addressed to the Ukrainian government, “Under the current circumstances, we are suspending PayPal services in Russia.” Mykhailo thanked PayPal in an additional tweet, writing, “So now it’s official: PayPal shuts down its services in Russia, citing Ukraine aggression. Thank you, @PayPal, for your support!”
The polices were announced in a series of statements made on Saturday and Sunday, following remarks made by each of the companies earlier this week that they had blocked certain Russian banks in an effort to comply with Western sanctions against the country.
Visa said on Saturday that its suspension would be “effective immediately,” and that all transactions would cease within a matter of days.
Al Kelly, Visa’s CEO and chair, said in a statement that the company felt “compelled to act following Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine, and the unacceptable events that we have witnessed.”
Kelly continued: “We regret the impact this will have on our valued colleagues, and on the clients, partners, merchants, and cardholders we serve in Russia. This war and the ongoing threat to peace and stability demand we respond in line with our values.”
Also on Saturday, Mastercard said cards issued by Russian banks would “no longer be supported by the Mastercard network,” and that any Mastercard issued outside Russia would not work at Russian merchants or ATMs.
“We don’t take this decision lightly. Mastercard has operated in Russia for more than 25 years,” the company said in a statement on Saturday. “As we take this step, we join with so many others in hoping for and committing to a more positive, productive, and peaceful future for us all. ”
Stephen J. Squeri, the CEO of American Express, wrote in a statement on Sunday that all globally issued cards would no longer work in Russia, and that cards issued within the country would cease to function within the company’s network. It also suspended business in Belarus.