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US Sanctiones Some Russian Banks, Freezes their Visa and MasterCard Cards
22.03.2014 13:59
US Sanctiones Some Russian Banks, Freezes their Visa and MasterCard Cards

US-based Visa Inc. and MasterCard Inc. have stopped any operations with credit cards from several Russian banks targeted by the United States for financial sanctions on Thursday, a number of Russian banks said on Friday.

      The news signaled the first impact on ordinary Russian citizens by a series of Western sanctions against Russia over the ongoing situation in Ukraine, the greatest geopolitical showdown between Russia and the West since the end of the Cold War. Earlier sanctions had been restricted to targeting high-level officials only.

      Several banks reported that customer cards were being declined for payment and that they had received no advance notification of the changes. Customer deposits remained unaffected.

      Visa Inc. have confirmed it blocked cards issued by four Russian banks for use on its payment network for online or retail purchases.

      Visa said the list of the banks facing sanctions announced by the US Treasury on Thursday includes Rossiya Bank, SMP Bank, Sobinbank and Investcapitalbank, the latter two being part of Rossiya Bank.

      The management of Rossiya Bank said it would do everything possible to help their customers. The bank added that customers could still withdraw cash from the bank’s ATMs without difficulties, as well as those owned by partner banks.

      The US and EU announced asset freezes and travel bans targeting a number of Russian officials close to Putin on Monday, following a referendum in Crimea that saw voters overwhelmingly support reunification with Russia after 60 years as part of Ukraine. The sanctions were later expanded by including some Russian banks and more economic punishments are yet to come.

      Russian President warned earlier this month that sanctions against Russia threatened to cause mutual damage in the modern, integrated global economy.

Author: Julia Alieva

Tags: Russian banks Ukraine crisis Russian economy sanctions  

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