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US Sanctions: Visa, MasterCard Bars Russian Bank Customers

Several Russian banks on Friday saw their customers barred from using Visa and MasterCard credit cards as US economic sanctions over Russia’s takeover of Crimea began to dig in.

US-based Visa and MasterCard have stopped servicing the credit cards of customers at Russian banks due to the economic sanctions announced in Washington, the banks said Friday.

A Visa spokesman told ITAR-TASS news agency that the move was to “in order to comply with US law” and concerned four banks: Bank Rossiya, Sobinbank, SMP Bank and InvestKapitalBank.

US President Barack Obama on Thursday said a list of Russians targeted by sanctions had been extended to include billionaire businessmen bankers believed to be close to Putin.

One bank, Bank Rossiya, was also added, described as a “crony bank” for the elite. [AFP]

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