Visa, Mastercard and American Express suspend operations in Russia over Ukraine invasion

Author: CBS NEWS
Published: Updated:
Photo by AP.

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. American Express followed suit on Sunday and said they would be suspending operations in Russia.

American Express said their cards will no longer work at merchants or ATMs in Russia. Additionally, American Express said they will be terminating all business operations in Belarus.

“One of our company values is to ‘Do What is Right,'” American Express said in a statement. “This principle has guided us throughout this difficult crisis and will continue to do so, as we stand by our colleagues, customers, and the international community in hoping for a peaceful resolution to this crisis.”

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 Zelensky of Ukraine and U.S. lawmakers. Zelensky “asked us to turn off MasterCard and Visa for Russia,” Representative Brad Sherman, a Democrat from California, tweeted during that conversation. “I agree,” he added before Mastercard and Visa made their announcements.

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