American Express suspends operations in Russia and Belarus


The company said in a statement on Sunday that American Express cards issued globally will no longer work in Russia and cards issued in Russia will not work outside the country.

American Express also said it was ending its business operations in Belarus.

“This is in addition to previous actions we have taken, which include ending our relationships with Russian banks affected by U.S. and international government sanctions,” American Express said in a statement on Sunday.

In a memo from Chairman and CEO Stephen Squeri, American Express said it does not employ anyone directly in Ukraine, but has “dozens of colleagues” in Russia.

Other credit card companies took similar action over the weekend.

MasterCard (MY) said on Saturday it was suspending its network services in Russia. Cards supported by Russian banks will not work on Mastercard’s network, and any cards issued outside of Russia will not work in the country.

“Our colleagues, customers and partners have been impacted in ways most of us could not imagine,” Mastercard said in a statement Saturday. “This decision stems from our recent action to block several financial institutions from the Mastercard payment network, as required by regulators around the world.”

The company, which has operated in Russia for more than 25 years, previously announced that it had “blocked several financial institutions” from its network following the Russian sanctions and would “continue to work with regulators in the days to come”.

Visa (V) said on Saturday it was suspending all operations in Russia. Over the next few days, it will end all Visa transactions in Russia and Visa cards issued in Russia will no longer work outside the country. Additionally, all Visa cards worldwide “will no longer work within the Russian Federation,” Visa said.

“We regret the impact this will have on our valued colleagues and on the customers, partners, merchants and cardholders we serve in Russia,” Visa Chairman and CEO Al Kelly said in a statement on Saturday.


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