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March 11, 2022updated 23 Mar 2022 10:00am

Western Union halts Russia, Belarus operations

Understand the impact of the Ukraine conflict from a cross-sector perspective with the Global Data Executive Briefing: Ukraine Conflict

The Western Union Company has paused its operations in Russia and Belarus in response to Russia’s continuing military assault against Ukraine.

The firm said that it reached the decision after ‘extensive dialogue’ with its stakeholders.

Internal and external considerations, such as the outcome for its partners, clients, and staff were also factored in while making the decision.

Besides, the company has been offering its support to Ukrainian customers affected by the conflict, including donations to facilitate relief efforts and zero-fee remittance services in the country.

The money transfer firm said in a statement: The Western Union Company stands with the world in condemning the unprovoked and unjustified invasion of Ukraine. All of us share the shock, disbelief, and sadness around this tragedy and humanitarian disaster.

“Our hearts go out to the people of Ukraine and to our colleagues, customers, agents, and partners who have been impacted.”

Last month, a report by RBC said that Western Union is moving to stop transactions in Russia from 1 April 2022 as a result of low demand for domestic transfers in the market.

However, the company was expected to continue its cross-border fund transfer services in the country.

Earlier this week, the central bank of Ukraine asked its counterparts in Armenia, Kyrgyzstan, Turkey, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, and Vietnam to refuse transaction cards linked to the Russian payment system MIR.

Following the Ukraine crisis and subsequent sanctions on Russia, a number of payment firms JCB, Discover, Mastercard, Visa, and American Express suspended their Russian operations.

Recently, fintech firms Wise, Paysera, Remitly, TransferGo, and Zepz halted their payment services in Russia.

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