Dem pols demand Visa, Mastercard halt business in pro-Kremlin Belarus

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A team of seven Democratic lawmakers — like Bronx Rep. Ritchie Torres — are demanding Mastercard and Visa suspend all small business operations in professional-Kremlin Belarus, which Russian troops have been working with as a staging floor in their brutal war on Ukraine.

Torres — alongside with Reps. Steve Cohen, Bonnie Watson Coleman, Jake Auchincloss, Jim Costa and Andre Carson — despatched a letter to the CEOs of the credit card giants Wednesday and blasted them for their complicity in the war.

“Belarus’s role in Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is distinct,” the letter, completely acquired by the Submit, explained. “American and Ukrainian officials assert that Belarus’s leadership has permitted Belarus to provide as a person of the staging grounds for Russia’s armed service campaign in Ukraine. In addition, hurt Russian troops have been evacuated to Belarusian hospitals. Belarus is as substantially at fault as Russia in this war.”

Mastercard and Visa, like quite a few other important businesses, suspended business operations with Russia in early March — but the two have yet to consider action versus Belarus, whose dictator Alexander Lukashenko is recognized for getting a bootlicker to Russian President Vladimir Putin. 

Bronx Rep. Ritchie Torres was one of the signers of the letter.
Bronx Rep. Ritchie Torres was 1 of the signers of the letter.
Robert Miller
Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko is considered a close ally to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko is thought of a close ally to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
EPA/MIKHAIL KLIMENTYEV / KREMLIN POOL / SPUTNIK

“This is a excellent very first stage, but we believe that additional ought to be done,” wrote the pols, who are requesting a formal reaction from both corporations by April 20. “We would observe that on March 6th American Express announced that they would suspend operations in Russia and Belarus.”

Earlier this thirty day period, the Residence of Associates just about unanimously passed laws to revoke regular trade relations with Russia and Belarus. The lawmakers insisted in their letter that “the personal sector can also play a substantial role in addressing terrible actors’ job in this unjustified war.”

The U.S. also renewed sanctions in opposition to Lukashenko and expanded them to incorporate his family. Secretary of Condition Antony Blinken has blasted the Japanese European strongman’s “support and facilitation of the Russian Federation’s invasion.”

Both Visa and Mastercard suspended business in Russia, but not Belarus.
Both Visa and Mastercard suspended organization in Russia, but not Belarus.
Getty Visuals

“The unprovoked and unjust invasion of Ukraine by Russia is among the the gravest international crises in new history,” the letter mentioned. “We believe and strongly urge you to think about suspending your solutions in Belarus.”

Visa and Mastercard did not promptly answer to the Post’s request for remark.

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