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    Russian Finance Ministry Drafts Resolution to Ease Visa, MasterCard Restrictions

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    Russia’s Finance Ministry published a draft resolution that softens operating conditions for Visa and MasterCard before they “acquire the status of nationally significant” card payment systems (CPS), according to the respective document published on the government's website.

    MOSCOW, June 25 (RIA Novosti) – Russia’s Finance Ministry published a draft resolution that softens operating conditions for Visa and MasterCard before they “acquire the status of nationally significant” card payment systems (CPS), according to the respective document published on the government's website.

    In the document, the two companies are offered an extension on regulatory compliance, if they stop communicating the information on the transfer of funds in Russia to payment clearing houses overseas.

    If Visa and MasterCard follow through on this condition, they are not required to make controversial security deposits "from July 1 to September 30 and from October 1 to October 31," the document says.

    In this case, the draft resolution also exempts Visa and MasterCard from the fine for non-payment of the security deposit to the Central Bank of Russia.

    The legislative initiative to create a national card payment system in Russia began in early May in response to Ukraine-related sanctions that saw several Russian banks denied service by global powerhouses Visa and MasterCard.

    The new set of regulations is still being drafted and will require concerted effort from international CPSs to keep their business in Russia.

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