Russia suffers as Visa, Mastercard, suspend operations

Mastercard and Visa are suspending their operations in Russia, the companies said, 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 card 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 is working with clients and partners in Russia to cease all Visa transactions in 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.

Meanwhile, US President Joe Biden, in a call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, has welcomed decisions by Visa and Mastercard to suspend their operations in Russia.

“President Biden noted his administration is surging security, humanitarian, and economic assistance to Ukraine and is working closely with Congress to secure additional funding,” a White House readout of the call said.