“Banking tourism”: Ukraine explains how Russians circumvent sanctions through Belarus

“Banking tourism”: Ukraine explains how Russians circumvent sanctions through Belarus

To dodge international sanctions, Russian nationals travel to Belarus, where they are issued Visa and MasterCard bank cards.

This was reported by the chief of the Ukrainian President’s Office, Andriy Yermak, on Telegram, as seen by Ukrinform.

"Russians are bypassing sanctions through Belarus. Now trips to Minsk as part of the so-called ‘banking tourism’ to get Visa and MasterCard cards in Belarusian banks have become popular. They can be used to make payments abroad and in international online stores," he said.

Also, according to the head of the President’s Office, there is a demand for opening accounts in Uzbekistan’s banks.

Read also: Zelensky: World has not yet imposed sanctions that would make Russia pay for its actions

Yermak recalled that Visa and MasterCard cards issued in Russia cannot be used abroad for international online payments, while both card giants suspended operations in Russia on March 6 in the wake of Kremlin’s war against Ukraine.

As Ukrinform reported, on March 29, President Volodymyr Zelensky said an expert group was being set up at the President’s Office to analyze the sanctions’ impact on Russia.

The group is led by the head of the President's Office, Andriy Yermak, and the chief of the Freeman-Spogli Institute for International Studies (FSI), Ambassador Michael McFaul, the U.S. President's National Security Advisor.

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