Mar 6, 2022 - Economy & Business

Visa, Mastercard and American Express suspend operations in Russia

ATM in russia
People are seen queuing at an ATM machine in Russia. Photo: Pavlo Palamarchuk/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Visa, Mastercard and American Express are suspending operations in Russia in response to President Vladimir Putin's invasion of Ukraine, the companies said.

Why it matters: Sanctions and divestment from the business community have increasingly isolated Russia from the rest of the world. Businesses operating there have a limited ability to collect revenue or pay workers and suppliers.

What they're saying: “We are compelled to act following Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine, and the unacceptable events that we have witnessed,” Visa Chair and CEO Al Kelly said in a statement Saturday.

  • Visa said it would cease transactions "over the coming days."

Mastercard on Saturday called the invasion “shocking and devastating” as it announced a ban similar to Visa's.

  • “With this action, cards issued by Russian banks will no longer be supported by the Mastercard network. And, any Mastercard issued outside of the country will not work at Russian merchants or ATMs,” the company said.
  • “These have been and will continue to be very difficult days — most of all for our employees and their families in Ukraine; for our colleagues with relatives and friends in the region; for our colleagues in Russia; and for the rest of us who are watching from afar,” the company added.

American Express on Sunday said its suspending operations in Russia and "terminating" them in Belarus.

  • "One of our company values is to 'Do What is Right.'" the company's statement read. "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."

Go deeper: What global companies are abandoning Russia, and why

Editor's note: This post has been updated with news that American Express is suspending its operations in Russia.

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