US-based credit card giants Visa and Mastercard have both just announced they will sanction Russia by suspending their Russian business operations.
Visa Inc, based in California, issued a statement that said: "Visa will work with its clients and partners within Russia to cease all Visa transactions over the coming days. Once complete, all transactions initiated with Visa cards issued in Russia will no longer work outside the country and any Visa cards issued by financial institutions outside of Russia will no longer work within the Russian Federation."
"We are compelled to act following Russia's unprovoked invasion of Ukraine, and the unacceptable events that we have witnessed," said Al Kelly, chairman and chief executive officer of Visa Inc.
"We regret the impact this will have on our valued colleagues, and on the clients, partners, merchants and cardholders we serve in Russia. This war and the ongoing threat to peace and stability demand we respond in line with our values."
Moments prior, Mastercard Inc, based in New York, issued a statement.
It began: "For more than a week, the world has watched the shocking and devastating events resulting from the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Our colleagues, our customers and our partners have been affected in ways that most of us could not imagine."
The company went on to say: "We have decided to suspend our network services in Russia. This decision flows from our recent action to block multiple financial institutions from the Mastercard payment network, as required by regulators globally. With this action, cards issued by Russian banks will no longer be supported by the Mastercard network. And, any Mastercard issued outside of the country will not work at Russian merchants or ATMs."
It added: "We don't take this decision lightly. Mastercard has operated in Russia for more than 25 years."
CNN's chief White House corr, Kaitlan Collins and others noted that Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskiy had urged the companies to take this action when he talked by video to American members of Congress earlier today.
It looks as though the situation will be different for those using Visa or Mastercard cards within Russia that were issued by Russian banks, though facts and the implications coming out of Russia may take a bit longer to become clear.
The Reuters news agency noted that the Tass Russian news agency had reported that Sberbank Rossii PAO, Russia's largest lender, said sanctions announced by Visa Inc and Mastercard Inc would not affect users of the cards it issues in Russia when used inside Russia.