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Visa and MasterCard to Halt Russian Operations


Visa and MasterCard to Halt Russian Operations

Photo: Sky News

American payment companies Visa and MasterCard will indefinitely halt their operations in Russia.

The move, which will block all types of transactions, comes in response to Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine last month. To pressure Moscow financially, the American credit card companies are following other Western financial firms such as PayPal in hopes of forcing Moscow to capitulate to Western demands and withdraw from Ukraine.

While the move will have a minimal effect on the incursion itself, it will further damage Russia’s sanction-hit economy in the short- to medium- term.

This will likely lower the Russian populace’s morale—especially that of the working class—who will further struggle economically. In turn, the invasion may lose Russian popular support owing to faltering living conditions, thus leaving the Moscow government in a predicament. Conversely, the opposition faction in Moscow—lead by Alexei Navalny—may gain further support as they will use the opportunity to continue to speak against the invasion and its results. Additionally anti-war protests will increase across Russian cities, likely prompting the government to crackdown heavily by arresting many. It will also be difficult for Moscow to fund the invasion in the long-term due to the boycott.

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