Banned Visas? Small Effect. Not Being Banned by Visa? Priceless
It’s over. The Russian expansion into the Crimean peninsula is a done deal and the financial sanctions are feather weight. The only real sanctions which might have hurt Russia didn’t happen. Germany didn’t ban energy imports. Doing so would have been like one conjoined twin severing itself from the other as a punishment when each are left equally bleeding.
Regarding the alleged destruction of the Russian payment system, the Wall Street Journal today has the story:
“Russia— Visa Inc. V +0.98% and MasterCard MA +1.14% have reached a compromise agreement with Russian officials that would allow the global card payment companies to continue operating in the country.
“”MasterCard and Visa will continue business in Russia,” said Andrew Torre, Visa’s general director for Russia, Friday.
“Russia’s finance minister, Anton Siluanov, said both Visa and MasterCard are ready to create their own Russia-based payment operators, which will take around a year and half. Until then, the two companies have agreed to cooperate with Russia’s existing payment systems, Mr. Siluanov said…
“Ilya Ryaby, the head of MasterCard in Russia, said the companies’ proposals were taken positively by Russia’s government and that both sides have reached preliminary agreements, without elaborating.
“When asked if MasterCard would continue business in Russia, Mr. Ryaby said “we will stay in Russia anyway.””
So, now the credit card companies have committed to keep the payment system intact. Who cares if a dozen or so Russian oligarchs can’t get visas to travel in the US? Not them.