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Visa, Mastercard block Russian financial institutions after sanctions

Visa, Mastercard block Russian financial institutions after sanctions
Photo Credit: Pixabay
1 Mar, 2022
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After tech giants like Google and Facebook have adopted stringent measures to restrict access to Russian media outlets on their platforms, payment card solution providers Visa and Mastercard have also excluded multiple Russian financial institutions from their network for the time being. 

The move is in line with the US government’s sanctions on Moscow for invading Ukraine. 

Mastercard CEO Michael Miebach confirmed the move saying the company will continue to with the regulators. “As a result of sanction orders, we have blocked multiple financial institutions from the Mastercard payment network. We will continue to work with regulators in the days ahead to abide fully by our compliance obligations as they evolve,” he said. 

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“Our Cyber & Intelligence and Corporate Security teams are working with governments and partners around the world to ensure the stability, integrity and resiliency of our systems, which are operating as normal.” 

Visa too has revealed that it will comply with sanctions against Russia. Moreover, the company has revealed that its Visa Foundation will provide a $2 million grant to the US Fund for UNICEF to support humanitarian aid to the people of Ukraine. 

“Beyond these efforts, Visa is taking prompt action to ensure compliance with applicable sanctions, and is prepared to comply with additional sanctions that may be implemented,” the company said in a statement. 

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Also read: How tech giants are embracing safety steps to fight Russia-Ukraine crisis

Earlier, the US, Canada, Britain and the EU took tough measures to restrict Russia’s access to the ‘Swift international banking payment system’. The European Commission, in a joint statement with the US, affirmed that such measures will further isolate Russia from the international financial system and our economies. 

“We commit to ensuring that selected Russian banks are removed from the SWIFT messaging system. This will ensure that these banks are disconnected from the international financial system and harm their ability to operate globally,” the joint statement read.

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“We commit to imposing restrictive measures that will prevent the Russian Central Bank from deploying its international reserves in ways that undermine the impact of our sanctions. We will implement these measures within the coming days,” it further said.