Visa, MasterCard to continue operating in Russia - Siluanov

The payment systems Visa and MasterCard will continue operating in Russia, Finance Minister Anton Siluanov told Interfax on Tuesday.

The payment systems Visa and MasterCard will continue operating in Russia, Finance Minister Anton Siluanov told Interfax on Tuesday.

"We can't abandon these systems since over 90 percent of those who use payment systems work with them," he said.

He did not say how the problem would be resolved with security deposits that Visa and MasterCard must give to the Central Bank. These deposits are equal to two days of turnover.

According to recent legislative amendments on the national payment system, in order to continue operating in Russia, international payment systems must place a security deposit equal to two days of the systems' turnover on special accounts with the Russian Central Bank.

Analysts have said that one solution that would allow the international payment systems to maintain their business in Russia and simultaneously avoid huge expenditures on deposits with the CBR could be to spin off their Russian business into separate companies with shareholders who are formally not affiliated with Visa and MasterCard, and therefore not obligated to comply with sanctions imposed by the U.S. authorities.

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