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Russia expects new sanctions and preparing to switch off Visa and MasterCard

Central Bank of Russia advises small banks, which work with payment systems not directly but through major sponsoring banks, to find spare sponsors, who could be servicing cards
16:20, 7 December 2018

gazprom.ru

The Central Bank of the Russian Federation recommended small banks to prepare for possible disconnection from Visa and MasterCard payment systems because of the threat of increasing the U.S. sanctions, Vedomosti reports.

'The Central Bank is attended to uninterrupted card payments in banks working with payment systems not directly but through major sponsoring banks. The regulator suggests such indirect participants of payment systems to conclude a contract besides the main one with another bank, which can provide sponsorship of payment card systems,’ reads the message.

Related: U.S., EU can extend anti-Russian sanctions due to capture of Ukrainian sailors, - Volker

‘RNKO Payment Center’, ‘Uralsib’, ‘VTB Bank’, ‘Rosbank’ and ‘Promsvyazbank’ are among major sponsoring banks on the Russian market.

The outlet reports that the Russian Central Bank is insured against the collapse of sponsoring banks, the possibility of sanctions increase, which could be fraught with disconnection of the sponsor from Visa and MasterCard, as it happened in 2014 and 2015.

As of now, all Russian small banks received the relevant recommendations, however, they are not compulsory.

Related: Are anti-Russian sanctions of EU and US meaningful?

It is noted that in case of new American sanctions against major Russian banks, the disconnection from Visa and MasterCard systems won’t affect payments in Russia, since, payments within the country are carried out via the National System of Payment Cards. The cards won’t work abroad only.

As it was reported earlier, U.S. Special Representative for Ukraine Kurt Volker stated that the international community is able to disconnect Russia from SWIFT international financial information transfer system, in order to hold the Russian aggression and return captured Ukrainian sailors near the Kerch Strait.

As we reported earlier, the coast guard ships of the Russian Navy acted aggressively against the ships of the Ukrainian Navy, which have been carrying out a scheduled transition from Odesa port to Mariupol port in the Sea of Azov.  

Related: EU approves sanctions against nine people responsible for "elections" in Donbas

‘Today, November 25, the ships of the Ukrainian Navy with two armored gunboats and a sea mule tugboat have been carrying out a scheduled transition from Odesa port to Mariupol port in the Sea of Azov. The intention to make the transition was informed in advance in accordance with international standards in order to ensure the safety of navigation. However, contrary to the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea and the Treaty between Ukraine and the Russian Federation on cooperation in the use of the Sea of Azov and the Kerch Strait, the Russian coast guard ships - Sobol class patrol boat, Don border guard cruiser, Mangust class patrol boat and Suzdalets anti-submarine warfare ship performed blatantly aggressive acts against the ships of the Ukrainian Navy,’ reads the message. 

Related: Ukrainian MPs comment on media freedom, possible sanctions against 112 Ukraine, NewsOne TV channels

It is specified that Don border guard cruiser rammed the Ukrainian armored artillery boat, which led to the damage of the main engine, planting and accommodation rail, life float is lost. The Ukrainian Navy states that "the dispatcher service of the occupiers refuses to ensure the right of freedom of navigation, guaranteed by international agreements. 

The Ukrainian Navy states that 'the dispatcher service of the occupiers refuses to ensure the right of freedom of navigation, guaranteed by international agreements.' Thus, according to the Ukrainian side, Russia has once again demonstrated its aggressive nature and complete disregard for the norms of international law. 

Related: UK stands for tightening of anti-Russian sanctions

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