Things are about to get even crazier now in Russia with the latest move against Putin for its war in Ukraine.
There were already sanctions cutting off the SWIFT system regarding seven banks in Russia. While it did affect the Russian Central Bank, it wasn’t going to affect everyone, and the Ukrainian Member of Parliament Oleksandra Ustinova said it wasn’t enough.
But now, Master Card and Visa have said they are going to suspend all their operations in Russia.
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All transactions initiated with Visa cards issued in Russia will no longer work abroad. Any Visa cards issued by financial institutions outside of Russia will also no longer work within the country, the company said in a statement Saturday.
“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. MasterCard, which provided fewer details on the suspension, said in a statement that given the “unprecedented nature of the current conflict and the uncertain economic environment – we have decided to suspend our network services in Russia.” U.S. lawmakers have called for the companies to halt transactions in Russia.
Russia is about to go back to an all-cash system.
This was one of the things that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky had asked for during his virtual meeting with members of Congress on Saturday. He also told them that had the Biden Administration “started sanctions months ago, there would not have been war.” While he expressed appreciation for what had been done, he told Fox News’ Trey Yingst that it was a “pity” that the Biden Administration’s help “began after the beginning of this war.”
But it’s not just Mastercard and VISA, it’s a long list of companies cutting Russia off.
I noticed a lot of concerns from people who are freelancers in Russia saying this move by Paypal doesn’t hurt Putin in any way but just cuts off access to money from people who would be opposing him. Unfortunately, in the effort to try to cut off Putin, moves are being made as well that don’t make a lot of sense. One such empty virtue-signaling move that doesn’t seem to make a lot of sense was from the International Cat Federation, which banned any cats from Russia from their competitions. How does that do anything to hold the government of Russia accountable?
The Metropolitan Opera is also cutting singers if they refuse to rebuke Putin as they note in this statement about Anna Netrebko. She’s criticized the war but not Putin so they parted ways with her.
That’s just a bit nuts, too. That’s requiring someone to toe a political line to be able to work and that’s a bad slippery slope to go down.
Yet, while people are going so far as to ban cats and cutting opera singers, the Biden Administration is still buying Russian oil while cutting our ability. They’re still using a Russian negotiator in what is sure to be yet another horrible Biden mistake: coming to a new Iran nuclear deal which, as we reported, is very close (and very awful).
Where’s the cutting off of the Russian government that should be happening from the Biden Administration?