MOSCOW (AP) — Russia's President Vladimir Putin says Russia will set up its own payment system to rival Visa and MasterCard.
The move comes barely a week after the two companies suspended services to Russian banks which were directly and indirectly hit by international sanctions.
The United States and the European Union last week imposed travel bans and asset freezes on two dozen Russians who are believed to be Putin's close allies. The banks of some of those individuals reported suspension of card services.
Putin said on Thursday in televised comments that Russia will set up a payment system of its own, citing the examples of Japan's JCB or China's UnionPay.
Russian officials have criticized the reliance on Visa and MasterCard, saying Russian banks are hostage to international corporations.