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    January 31, 2016

    Visa Lifts Sanctions Against Crimea

    Translated by Ollie Richardson for Fort Russ
    1st February, 2016

    GenBank, the largest financial institution of the Republic of Crimea under the anti-Russian Western sanctions, resumed work with the cards of Visa, the international payment system.

    They now accept payment with cards from Russian issuing banks. The operation takes place through a national system of payment cards (NCBI) - all points are connected to the system of GenBank in Crimea and Sevastopol. They are also accepted for Visa services at ATMs. Earlier, the Peninsula started to use the Chinese system UnionPay.

    An event all the more curious is that GenBank, the main Bank of the government of Crimea, 50% of its share capital belongs to the Executive authorities of the Republic of Kazakhstan. There are more than 170 branches, 580 ATMs and POS terminals 960 of the Bank.

    International payment system MasterCard and Visa stopped working within Russian Crimea at the end of December 2014. It was one of the first strikes of the sanctions, which was inflicted on the rebellious Russia by the United States.

    It seems that times are changing. According to the authoritative American Agency Bloomberg, France and Germany are nervous about Ukraine, as are the USA.

    Journalists, analysts and officials that were interviewed have predicted that the lifting of sanctions against Russia will happen later this year.

    "The signs are obvious after the statement of U.S Secretary of State John Kerry, saying that in the coming months, the Minsk agreements will be implemented and it will to come to the point where sanctions could be lifted. After Kerry — not in Davos — German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble and France's Economic Minister Emmanuel Macron both said: "Europe needs to maintain close ties with Russia to resolve the Syrian conflict. They repeated what the Secretary of State said about the sanctions in exchange for the Minsk agreements", — wrote Bloomberg.

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