Remittance giant Western Union has joined other financial services firms in supporting sanctions in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The decision will affect customers in the Russian Federation as well as those in Belarus, an ally of Moscow, supporting its military operation.
Western Union condemns invasion of Ukraine and suspends services to Russia and Belarus
Money transfer specialist Western Union condemned Russia’s military assault on neighboring Ukraine, expressing “shock, disbelief and sadness at this tragedy and humanitarian catastrophe”. The company has worked to support its Ukrainian customers, including through donations, humanitarian relief efforts, and waiving fees.
The cross-border payments provider announced its decision to suspend its operations in the Russian Federation and Belarus, taken after discussing the matter with various stakeholders. The company added that it had also assessed the consequences for its partners and customers. In a statement released Thursday, he also pointed out:
We join the international community in expressing the sincere hope for a diplomatic and peaceful settlement. In the meantime, our priorities remain the well-being and safety of our employees as well as continued support for the people of Ukraine, including the growing number of refugees seeking safety.
Western Union, also a global leader in cross-currency money movement with a presence in more than 200 countries and territories, is the latest in a group of payment and remittance providers that have suspended services in Russia as part of sanctions related to the war in Ukraine. These include Paypal, Wise, Remitly, Transfergo, Zepz and Revolut.
Visa and Mastercard, the world’s major payment processors, have also backed Western sanctions against Moscow, suspending operations in the Russian Federation, although Russian residents can use their locally issued cards inside the country. American Express introduced identical measurements.
Ukraine has called for and welcomed such measures. Kyiv authorities have also urged cryptocurrency exchanges to freeze Russian accounts, but major trading platforms like Binance and Kraken have rejected demands to unilaterally impose restrictions on all Russian users.
At the same time, the Ukrainian government and voluntary organizations are increasingly relying on cryptocurrency donations to fund defense efforts and address humanitarian issues. Ukraine has received strong support from industry representatives and the crypto community.
Do you expect other financial services companies to join the sanctions against Russia? Tell us in the comments section below.
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