(Adds MasterCard’s statement on Crimea)
MOSCOW, Dec 26 (Reuters) - 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 this month.
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 sanctions. (Reporting by Alexander Winning; Writing by Alexander Winning and Polina Devitt; Editing by Pravin Char/Ruth Pitchford)