Visa and Mastercard blocked Russian banks

Visa and Mastercard blocked Russian banks
  • In a move consistent with Western sanctions against Russia, the two electronic payment giants suspended the second country’s banks from their network.
  • The companies assured to be ready to comply with the additional sanctions that are implemented against Moscow.
  • Both firms sent $2 million dollars for a humanitarian aid fund for the victims of the conflict.

The giants of electronic payment systems, Visa and Mastercard, blocked Russian banks from their network, joining Western sanctions. In this way, the citizens of the Eurasian country were prevented from using the services of these financial firms as of last Monday.

Last week, the Russian military launched a multipurpose military operation on Ukrainian soil, drawing the ire of the West. In response, the countries of this hemisphere, led by the United States, unleashed an unprecedented series of sanctions against Moscow.

According to the Russian version, the operation is aimed at protecting the breakaway regions with a majority Russian population. They would have been suffering genocide for the last 8 years. At the other extreme, the United States assures that it is an unjustified invasion.

Visa and Mastercard join the US position.

Regardless of who is right in this conflict, Visa and Mastercard have already taken sides and blocked Russian banks. They also announced the sending of $2 million dollars for a humanitarian fund to help the Ukrainian civilian population.

With these sanctioning measures, the European Union, the United Kingdom and the United States aspire to suffocate Russia economically. The central objective is to immobilize the financial, economic and commercial capacity of this world power.

However, concerns about the full effectiveness of these sanctions haunt the plans of Western nations. Consequently, China presents itself as a serious contender to allow Russia to evade much of the sanctioning measures. Either way, Russia’s ability to communicate with the rest of the European banks is nullified by being left out of SWIFT.

Thus, to these measures are added the Visa and Mastercard firms, who this Monday and Tuesday blocked Russian financial institutions from their network. The impact of the set of sanctions has been practically immediate, with the ruble plummeting and long lines of Russians withdrawing cash from cash dispensers, testify to the fact.

The electronic payment and credit and debit card companies, Visa and Mastercard, joined the sanctions against Russia and blocked the banks of that country from their network.  Source: Daily Sabah
The electronic payment and credit and debit card companies, Visa and Mastercard, joined the sanctions against Russia and blocked the banks of that country from their network.

All financial firms are required to act

Under the punitive US sanctions regime against Russia, all financial services companies are required to comply. In that sense, the list of specially designated nationals (SDNL), points to individuals and banks that should be blocked from the services of all financial companies in the United States. Similar applications are made in Europe according to its own legislation.

Meanwhile, Visa announced Monday that it had withdrawn a number of banks from its network, which it did not specify. “We will continue to work with regulators in the days ahead to fully meet our compliance obligations,” the firm said in a statement quoted on CNBC.

Along the same lines as Visa, its rival Mastercard reported that it blocked a significant number of banks and individuals. This Tuesday, he stressed that they were “taking immediate measures to guarantee compliance with the applicable sanctions.” At the same time, Mastercard said it was ready to comply with any additional sanctions that might be put in place.

In parallel, the Ukrainian authorities asked cryptocurrency exchanges to freeze all users from Russia. In the latter case, it seems that they will not have much luck considering the decentralized nature of these assets.