UnionPay’s decision affects Sberbank, Russia’s biggest commercial bank, and smaller institutions, RBC reported Wednesday. It cited five unidentified sources in large Russian banks.
Mastercard and Visa suspended operations in Russia after the United States and other governments imposed trade and financial sanctions on President Vladimir Putin’s government for its attack on Ukraine.
American officials have warned that governments or companies that try to undermine sanctions will face consequences. RBC said UnionPay wanted to avoid such “secondary sanctions.”
Chinese President Xi Jinping's government has called Russia its “most important strategic partner” and criticized sanctions on Moscow. But Chinese companies and banks appear to be complying with trade and financial restrictions.
Other banks cited by RBC include Alfa Bank, VTB, Otkrytie and Promsvyazbank.