(Adds MasterCard's statement on Crimea)
MOSCOW Dec 26 The world's two largest credit
and debit card companies, Visa Inc and MasterCard Inc
, said on Friday they could no longer support bank cards
being used in Crimea, following U.S. sanctions imposed earlier
The United States last Friday prohibited U.S.-registered
companies from investing in Crimea or providing services to
firms operating there, among sanctions imposed over Russia's
annexation of the peninsula from Ukraine.
Visa said in a statement that the sanctions meant it could
not offer Visa-branded products and services to Crimea.
"We can no longer support card issuing and merchant/ATM
acquiring services in Crimea," it said.
Competitor MasterCard also said that it had to
suspend operations with bank cards in Crimea due to the
(Reporting by Alexander Winning; Writing by Alexander Winning
and Polina Devitt; Editing by Pravin Char/Ruth Pitchford)