“We do not take this decision lightly. Mastercard has been operating in Russia for more than 25 years. We have close to 200 colleagues there who make this business so essential to many stakeholders. As we take these steps, we will continue to focus on your safety and well-being, including maintaining compensation and benefits. Where appropriate and where permitted by law, we will use your passion and creativity to work toward recovery. operations". (Statement from Mastercard on suspension of services to Russia)… "We are compelled to act following Russia's unprovoked invasion of Ukraine and the unacceptable events we have witnessed," said Al Kelly, Chairman and CEO of Visa Inc. We regret the impact this will have on our valued colleagues and the customers, partners, merchants and cardholders we serve. in Russia. This war and the constant threat to peace and stability demands that we respond in accordance with our values. (Visa CEO and Chairman Al Kelly)... "Mr. Service says the key to understanding Mr. Putin is his unshakable belief that Russia is 'a great world power' and that Russia's sphere of influence must extend to as many ex-Soviet Republics as possible: “'There is no state that is more important to him than Ukraine.' (Wall Street Journal interview with Russian expert Robert Service) Historically, economic sanctions have tended to be porous: countries find solutions that drastically reduce their effectiveness. But something funny happened in this matter. So far, the economic pressure against Russia seems to be very effective, hampering Russian trade even in goods that have not been formally sanctioned (New York Times columnist Paul Krugman).(*3*)

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