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Tipsheet

Visa, Mastercard Suspend Operations in Russia

AP Photo/Keith Srakocic, File

Financial services companies Visa and Mastercard announced that business in Russia would be suspended due to the country's invasion of Ukraine.

In a press release Saturday, Visa wrote that it is working to cease all transactions in Russia, effective immediately. Visa cards issued in Russia will no longer work outside of the country and cards issued outside of Russia will no longer work within the country.

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"We are compelled to act following Russia's unprovoked invasion of Ukraine, and the unacceptable events that we have witnessed," Visa Inc. chairman and chief executive officer Al Kelly said in the release. "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."

And Mastercard wrote in a statement Saturday that it had suspended operations in Russia.

The Mastercard network will no longer support Russian banks and any Mastercard issued outside of the country will not be usable at Russian merchants or ATMs.

"We don't take this decision lightly," the company wrote. "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. When it is appropriate, and if it is permissible under the law, we will use their passion and creativity to work to restore operations."

This comes as several large private companies announce plans to sever ties with Russia over its invasion of its European neighbor.

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According to the White House, President Joe Biden lauded the decision by Visa and Mastercard to cut ties with Russia.

"President Biden highlighted the ongoing actions undertaken by the United States, its Allies and partners, and private industry to raise the costs on Russia for its aggression in Ukraine.  In particular, he welcomed the decision this evening by Visa and Mastercard to suspend service in Russia," the White House wrote in a statement.

Russia continues to launch attacks inside Ukraine's borders in an invasion that has resulted in death and evacuation.

More than 1 million Ukrainians have had to leave their country due to the ongoing war and several hundreds of the country's residents have been killed.

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