By blocking the use abroad of their cards issued on an account in a Russian bank, the two financial groups leave thousands of opponents without resources

Visa and Mastercard will both suspend operations in Russia

The Visa and Mastercard companies took a seemingly common-sense decision on Saturday, March 5, perfectly in line with the spirit of Western sanctions: to block the use abroad of all their cards issued on an account in a Russian bank. But they did not properly measure the consequences of this decision.

Admittedly, a few hundred oligarchs settled in London, Paris or New York can no longer dip into their accounts in Russian establishments and thus bring a little more of their loot out of the country.

But this measure also affects tens of thousands of opponents, journalists, activists who, in recent months and particularly in recent days, have fled Russia for Europe, Georgia or the United States. Wherever they have taken refuge, here they are, overnight, deprived of all resources. Since hearing the news, they have been in shock, unable to imagine their future.

Unwittingly, Visa and Mastercard have therefore taken a measure that delights the Putin clan, since those who will suffer the most are the women and men who have chosen to fight his regime from abroad. These two companies should reconsider their totally counterproductive decisions.

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