Russia comes to agreement with Visa and MasterCard

After removing themselves from Russia as a result of the crisis in the Ukraine, Russian officials have come to an

After removing themselves from Russia as a result of the crisis in the Ukraine, Russian officials have come to an agreement with MasterCard and Visa to renew operations in the country.

The agreement with the card firms will result in both MasterCard and Visa creating local Russia-based payment operators. The creation of the operators will take an estimated 18 months until completed. Until then, both firms have agreed to cooperate with Russia’s current payment systems.

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“MasterCard and Visa will continue business in Russia. They are ready to work within the framework of the new law, and we are ready to cooperate with them and will find a solution,” said Andrew Torre, Visa’s general director for Russia, Friday.

While no exact information on the agreement was provided, the head of MasterCard in Russia, Ilya Ryaby, stated the companies proposals were received positively by the Russian officials resulting in all sides coming to preliminary agreements.

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“We will stay in Russia anyway,” answered Mr. Ryaby when asked if MasterCard would continue its business in the region.

The issues between Russia and the leading card firms began back in March 2013 when MasterCard and Visa froze out Russian bank accounts to follow in suite with sanctions instilled by the US government on the event taking place in Crimea.

Since the freeze out, operations have returned partially to Russia. However, given the strain such actions have caused, the Government was forced to find an alternative payment scheme.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has recently come to an agreement with Chinese payment card company, China UnionPay, to implement a National Payment Scheme.

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