Russian President Vladimir Putin's Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov says Russia may be cut off from the Visa and MasterCard payment systems as part of the Western sanctions policy towards the Russian Federation.
Read also Global payment systems may leave Russia – media "These restrictions are manifested in various forms; this is a rather unpredictable process. Therefore, within this process, taking into account such unfriendly and sometimes even hostile forms of behavior towards us, nothing can be ruled out," the Russian news agency Interfax quoted Peskov as saying on April 13.
- In March 2014, Visa and MasterCard halted serving cards of Russia's certain banks in line with the resolution of the U.S. Department of the Treasury. The move affected clients of JSC Rossiya Bank, Sobinbank, InvestCapitalBank, SMP Bank, Bank Finservice, and others.
- The said banks were put on the so-called Specially Designated Nationals List, that is, a list of citizens and companies that are subject to U.S. sanctions.
- Inclusion in the list meant the freezing of the banks' American assets and a ban on all transactions on any foreign accounts. In addition, the 50% rule was enacted, according to which all organizations in which a person included in the U.S. Treasury Department's list owns at least a 50% stake were subject to the sanctions.
- Russia's Central Bank then made a statement that, if necessary, it would provide support to Rossiya Bank, so that U.S. sanctions could not affect its financial stability.
- On March 21, 2014, Chairperson of the State Duma Committee on Financial Markets Natalya Burykina announced that the American payment systems Visa and MasterCard, which stopped cooperating with a number of Russian banks, might be stripped of a license to operate in Russia.
Translation: Olena Kotova