• March 06, 2022

Visa and Mastercard have joined PayPal in suspending operations in Russia.

In making the announcement on Saturday, the payment processors referenced Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Visa, Mastercard, and PayPal have all declared that they are halting operations in Russia, citing the country's escalating invasion of Ukraine.

Visa will begin working to stop transactions in Russia, although it will take a few days, according to a press statement. Mastercard announced that it would halt its network services in Russia, which invaded Ukraine with military forces at the end of February.

"Once complete, all transactions initiated with Visa cards issued in Russia will no longer work outside of Russia, and any Visa cards issued by financial institutions outside of Russia will no longer work within the Russian Federation," according to a Visa statement attributed to global communications vice president Andy Gerlt.

"We were driven to act following Russia's unjustified invasion of Ukraine, and the deplorable actions that we have observed," stated Visa Inc. Chairman and CEO Al Kelly in a news release. We regret the impact on our valued staff, as well as our clients, partners, retailers, and cardholders in Russia. This battle, as well as the persistent threat to peace and stability, require us to act in accordance with our beliefs."

Similarly, Mastercard announced that, in addition to barring specific Russian financial institutions, it will stop supporting any cards issued by Russian banks and will stop processing transactions from cards issued outside of Russia that are used "at Russian businesses or ATMs."

Ukrainian Vice Prime Minister Mykhailo Fedorov had earlier on Saturday published a letter from PayPal CEO Dan Schulman announcing a similar shutdown.

PayPal spokespersons did not immediately respond to a request for comment, but according to Reuters, the suspension will "ensure that account balances are disbursed in accordance with applicable rules."

Companies have been under public pressure to halt activities in Russia as a result of the country's invasion. Despite entreaties from Ukrainian officials and lawmakers elsewhere, crypto firms have largely rejected efforts to arbitrarily restrict all Russian residents.

Kraken's CEO, Jesse Powell, stated that the company will comply if legally required to (his exchange was not one Ukraine formally asked). Ukraine has requested that all Russian accounts be blocked on Coinbase, Binance, Huobi, KuCoin, Bybit,, Whitebit, and Ukraine-based Kuna.

After the credit card processors announced their suspensions, Russia's central bank declared in a statement that Visa and Mastercard cards will continue to work within the country.

"They are processed within the country through the National Payment Card System, and sanctions have no impact on them," the central bank added. "Funds on accounts linked to these cards are fully preserved and available to customers."

It seems unlikely that cross-border transactions will be successful.