Europe

Russian Sanctions Prompt Mastercard Lawsuit (You Won’t Believe This One)

Diplomacy is a tricky game and imposing financial penalties against nuclear nations can have frightening consequences. That is the lesson learned this week by MasterCard. When the U.S. this summer imposed serious sanctions against Russia, it halted payment card charges and purchases from quite a few cards owned by Russian citizens. Turns out that one of those citizens was a business executive and he chose to sue MasterCard—for the equivalent of $2.70 (100 rubles).

The executive, Alexander Moskovkin, sued MasterCard because, he filed, the U.S. Department of Treasury blocked his card “without any prior notice.” He is demanding “compensation for moral damages.” Given the amount sought, he apparently felt that either his morals weren’t damaged that much—or perhaps he never valued them much to begin with.

RAPSI, the Russian Legal Information Agency, described the legal filing as “the first lawsuit of this kind.”

If the lawsuit is successful—and with those level of compensation demands, it’s a bargain at twice the price—RAPSI reported, “Visa and MasterCard could be swept away by claims from hundreds of thousands of Russians affected by the credit card freeze.”

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