August 19, 2022

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

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A group of 7 Democratic lawmakers — such as Bronx Rep. Ritchie Torres — are demanding Mastercard and Visa suspend all company functions in professional-Kremlin Belarus, which Russian troops have been employing as a staging ground in their brutal war on Ukraine.

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

“Belarus’s part in Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is obvious,” the letter, exclusively received by the Submit, reported. “American and Ukrainian officials assert that Belarus’s leadership has permitted Belarus to serve as 1 of the staging grounds for Russia’s army campaign in Ukraine. Additionally, hurt Russian troops have been evacuated to Belarusian hospitals. Belarus is as a lot at fault as Russia in this war.”

Mastercard and Visa, like several other big firms, suspended organization operations with Russia in early March — but the two have nonetheless to choose action versus Belarus, whose dictator Alexander Lukashenko is recognized for being a bootlicker to Russian President Vladimir Putin. 

Bronx Rep. Ritchie Torres was one of the signers of the letter.
Bronx Rep. Ritchie Torres was one particular 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 viewed as a near ally to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
EPA/MIKHAIL KLIMENTYEV / KREMLIN POOL / SPUTNIK

“This is a superior very first action, but we consider more must be completed,” wrote the pols, who are requesting a official reaction from the two providers by April 20. “We would observe that on March 6th American Express declared that they would suspend operations in Russia and Belarus.”

Before this month, the Residence of Representatives pretty much unanimously passed laws to revoke normal trade relations with Russia and Belarus. The lawmakers insisted in their letter that “the personal sector can also enjoy a major function in addressing negative actors’ purpose in this unjustified war.”

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

Both Visa and Mastercard suspended business in Russia, but not Belarus.
Both of those Visa and Mastercard suspended company in Russia, but not Belarus.
Getty Photos

“The unprovoked and unjust invasion of Ukraine by Russia is between the gravest worldwide crises in recent heritage,” the letter explained. “We think and strongly urge you to take into account suspending your expert services in Belarus.”

Visa and Mastercard did not quickly react to the Post’s ask for for remark.

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