In recent weeks, large multinationals have abandoned their operations in Russia, in response to the offensive that this country launched against Ukraine and that has the world on edge.
Oil companies, entertainment and technology companies, as well as other companies with a global presence, decided to turn their backs on Moscow. Even sports brands have canceled their sponsorships to Russian delegations, which has generated isolation while sanctions against that country by the West advance.
Among the most recent companies that decided to suspend their operations in Russia are the American credit card companies Visa, Mastercard and American Express, who this weekend announced their withdrawal.
“In light of Russia’s ongoing unwarranted attack on the people of Ukraine, American Express is suspending all operations in Russia,” American Express said in a statement on Sunday.
“We are also suspending all business operations in Belarus,” he added.
For their part, on Saturday, Visa and Mastercard announced a similar measure.
Mastercard said it decided to “suspend our network services in Russia,” “taking into account the unprecedented nature of the current conflict and the uncertain economic environment.”
Meanwhile, Visa said it would “immediately” work with its “customers and partners inside Russia to stop all Visa transactions in the coming days.”
“We are compelled to act following Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine and the unacceptable events we have witnessed,” Visa CEO Al Kelly was quoted as saying in a statement.
“Our colleagues, our customers and our partners have been affected in ways most of us cannot imagine,” Mastercard said on its side.
Russian Visa, Mastercard and American Express bank cards will no longer work abroad, while those issued abroad will no longer work in Russia.
In recent days, the three firms had taken steps to prevent Russian banks from using their networks, in application of international sanctions decided after the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
RUSSIAN BANKS DISMISS EFFECTS
Following the exit of these three major credit card brands, Russia’s largest banks, including Sberbank, the country’s largest lender, and the Russian Central Bank, downplayed the effects that card suspensions would have on their customers.
“All Visa and Mastercard bank cards issued by Russian banks will continue to function normally on Russian territory until their expiration date,” the Russian Central Bank said.
While Sberbank reported that the cards “can be used for operations on Russian territory, for cash withdrawals, making transfers using the card number and for payments in Russian stores, both online and offline.”
They will continue to operate on Russian soil because all payments in Russia are made through a national system and do not depend on foreign systems, the bank said in a statement released on its official Telegram account.
However, the Central Bank warned that Russians traveling outside the country should consider alternative methods of payment.
For his part, US President Joe Biden “welcomed the decision” during a phone call with his Ukrainian counterpart, Volodimir Zelenski, in which both discussed actions to be taken by the United States, private industry and allies to dissuade Russia from his aggression, according to the White House. Mastercard indicated that it will continue to pay and provide benefits to its almost 200 employees in Russia.
Meanwhile, the online payment company Paypal also interrupted its services in Russia.
Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Mykhailo Fedorov tweeted a letter from Paypal CEO Dan Schulman officially announcing the suspension.
“Under the current circumstances, we are suspending Paypal services in Russia,” Schulman wrote.
He added that PayPal would continue to support its staff in the region and would focus on “enabling our customers and global community of employees to support” humanitarian efforts in Ukraine.
Melissa Galbraith is the World News reporter for Globe Live Media. She covers all the major events happening around the World. From Europe to Americas, from Asia to Antarctica, Melissa covers it all. Never miss another Major World Event by bookmarking her author page right here.