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Visa Stops Supporting Bank Cards in Crimea

FILE - Visa Credit and Debit cards.

International credit and debit card company Visa Inc. said on Friday it 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.

A spokeswoman for Visa's competitor MasterCard was unable to immediately confirm whether it had also stopped serving bank cards in Crimea.

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