The deadly alliance between Russia and China has moved into banking. Visa and Mastercard suspended all of their services in Russia after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky had a phone call with U.S. lawmakers. The move by the credit card companies was announced on Saturday, just days after they had blocked Russian banks from access to their networks.
In a statement, Visa announced the company will “cease all Visa transactions” in Russia. On Sunday, Reuters reported that “several Russian banks said on Sunday they would soon start issuing cards using the Chinese UnionPay card operator’s system couples with Russia’s own Mir network.”
Russia’s biggest lender, Sberbank, as well as Alfa Bank and Tinkoff made the announcements to switch to the Chinese system. Visa Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Al Kelly said in a statement: “We are compelled to act following Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine, and the unacceptable events that we have witnessed.”
Visa and Mastercard issued their statements just 16 minutes apart. “We don’t take this decision lightly” said Mastercard in a statement. According to Representative Brad Sherman (D-CA), Zelensky asked the lawmakers on a private video call to turn off Mastercard and Visa for Russia.
The Associated Press reported that “Russia accounted for 4 percent of all of Visa’s net revenue in its last fiscal year, while business conducted within, into and out of Russia similarly accounted for 4 percent of Mastercard’s net revenues in 2021.”
The Associated Press also reported that “since the invasion of Ukraine, the value of the Russian currency, the ruble, has plunged by more than a third to a record low.”
As a result, inflation is dramatically increasing “for Russian households, and all the fear has helped cause long lines at ATMs.”
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VIDEO: Russia Moving Missiles Towards Finland Border
Putin has said in recent years that Finland is considered friendly so long as they do not join NATO. Finland’s President Sauli Niinistö confirmed Sunday he has applied for NATO membership.
MetroUK tweeted chilling video and reported the following:
Russian deputy foreign minister, Sergei Ryabkov, said: ‘They should have no illusions that we will simply put up with it,’ and insisted ‘the general level of military tension will rise’.
BREAKING: Russia moves nuclear missiles towards Finland border in backlash over Nato bid. https://t.co/fgzgXnwjqK
— Metro (@MetroUK) May 16, 2022
The video was reportedly taken on a road leading to Vyborg, around 24 miles from the Finnish border, showing the deployment of mobile Iskander missiles.
“Seven launchers are thought to be en route according to commentary on a dash cam video broadcast by Russian media.”
A person on the video can be heard saying: ‘As soon as the president of Finland said they were joining Nato, a whole division of Iskanders, seven of them is moving towards Vyborg.
‘Looks like a new military unit is about to be formed in Vyborg or the region.’
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