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Visa And MasterCard To Stay In Russia?

Visa and MasterCard on May 23 reportedly indicated they plan to stay in Russia, despite a new law that could cost them billions to remain. Representatives from both card networks met with members of the Russian government earlier in the day.

“In any situation, we will stay in Russia,” Ilya Ryaby, MasterCard general director in Russia, told journalists outside the St Petersburg International Economic Forum, according to a Reuters report.

Andrew Torre, director of Visa in Russia, also indicated network intentions to remain operating in the country. “Of course, we are willing to work in Russia, and after this meeting (with government officials), we hope that a compromise solution will be found.”

Earlier in the week at the JP Morgan Chase Technology Conference. MasterCard CEO Ajay Banga indicated a willingness to negotiate with Russia, and Visa CEO Charlie Scharf said “it needs to play itself out.”

Both companies have six weeks to decide whether to make a full exit from the country. Under a new law, which will be implemented on July 1, the networks would have to pay Russian authorities heavy security deposits to continue operating there.

Russian lawmakers wrote up the legislation at Putin’s request after Visa and MasterCard blocked transaction activity at several local banks sanctioned by the U.S. government after Russia reunified with Crimea. reported as Visa and MasterCard CEOs discus EMV, Mobile and Russia.

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