Russian Oligarchs Wave Goodbye To Visa, Switch To Chinese Credit Card

Tyler Durden's picture

So much for the "Russia is becoming increasingly isolated" meme that the West would like many to believe. As Russia continues to sign de-dollarization deals and trade agreements with its BRICS allies while pushing ahead with retaliatory actions against the US and Europe, it appears the 'sanctioned' friends of Putin are taking matters into their own hands. Billionaire oligarch Gennady Timchenko, among the first to be hit by travel bans and asset freezes by the US, has decided to tear up his Visa and Mastercard, shifting all his credit cards to China's UnionPay, noting that "in some ways it is more secure than Visa - at least the Americans can't reach it."


The Western meme goes something like this...

Russia risks becoming a pariah state if it does not behave properly,” U.K. Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said on Sky news this week.

However, after various deals with BRICS and Middle East nations, it appears Russia can find plenty of 'friends'.

And now the sanctioned oligarchs and de-dollarizing... (via ITAR-TASS Google Translate)

Russian businessman Gennady Timchenko, because of the U.S. sanctions imposed against him in March 2014 after the annexation of the Crimea to the Russian Federation, has replaced by Visa and MasterCard for card payment system China Union Pay and wallet with cash.


Timchenko March 20 was included in the U.S. Treasury list of persons with whom the U.S. companies and citizens have the right to maintain the business relationship, including U.S. registered Visa and MasterCard.


Businessman said that stopped using these cards payment systems. "We'll have to, as before, to carry a purse with cash," - complained Timchenko, adding that also enjoys card Chinese Union Pay.


"As the sanctions imposed, it immediately issued," - he said. "Excellent work! And accept card in many places. In some ways more secure than Visa. At least Americans will not reach" - said Timchenko.


Inclusion of a businessman in the U.S. sanctions list created trouble for the payments and for his wife. "Wife Gennady Timchenko had the surgery and could not even pay for it, because it was blocked accounts and cards," - said Russian President Vladimir Putin on April 17 during his "straight line", describing the incident as a violation of human rights.


Putin learned about this case, held after the announcement of sanctions meeting of the Russian Geographical Society, co-trustee of which is Timchenko. "Vladimir Putin asked how we feel ourselves to new realities. I said, well, all right, but there are nuances. And he told the story that President then mentioned," - said the businessman.

*  *  *
While Obama hopes that pressure on the oligarchs will creat some civil strife for Putin, we worry that it will merely corner him into survival mode with signioficant repurcussions for the west.

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Slave's picture

It's Friday night


knukles's picture

They sent me an overdue notice?
What, they both did?
Amex and Visa?
They're both in excess of $2.5 million?
Tell them to stick the overdues into the loss reserve and stick the loss reserve up their president's happy asshole.
Or maybe Mr Kerry can talk to them for me.
In fact why not get that Mr Kerry on the phone for me and I tell him.
He's on his boat again in Hyena's Port?
Hah ha ha ha ha
Like MSNBC reporter say, so it must be OK... "Fuckstick"

zaphod's picture

Can those of us stuck in the US sign de-dollarization deals? I'd like to get out too please.

palmereldritch's picture

  Union Pay: It's Every Embargo You Want To Be!

Boris Alatovkrap's picture

Russia oligarch is not needing own Visa or Mastercard, is already have list of all Amerikan credit card number.

Atomizer's picture

Where in the fuck have been hiding lately? Kinda miss your posts. Better have a good explanation. 

;-) you little fucking bastard. Oh that's just ZH love. 

RaceToTheBottom's picture

Almost as if the US does not think there are any alternatives.  They have been lulled into complacency because American sheep will not change to alternate solutions, yet.  

But other countries don't have those same inhibitions....

Most other countries don't want to be droned by WS, and will not stand for it.


mkkby's picture

Fuck you, Alotofcrap.  By that I mean welcome back. 

PS - Say hi to moose and squirrel.

Kirk2NCC1701's picture

Nothing wrong with what he's doing, but I have to wonder how every turn away from the US drives them right into the arms of the Chinese.  Good for China, of course.

The day that Russia backs its Ruble with Gold + Oil, is the day they get to use their own credit cards globally and thumb their noses at IMF and BIS -- and the US, of course.  Till then I remain cautiously optimistic, but a tad skeptical with their 1D "everything China" approach.

OTOH... perhaps their China solution buys them time for greater global independence, while leading the BRICS coalition to de-Dollarize.

babkjl's picture

Lots of gold, silver, barter, and cryptocurrency options available right now. We just have to use them more often. I bought nearly all of our Christmas presents last year using bitcoins to Amazon gift cards. New multi-currency / barter (including precious metals) exhange just went live 2 days ago: They are starting by giving away free 5,000 of their coins to anyone with a mature non spam Facebook account (optional only, you don't need to sign up with Facebook) and later to existing holders of bitcoins. Anyone can become a bank equivalent in this system in the form of a "Gateway." We could even start our own ZeroHedge Gateway to dedollarize amongst each other. This is one of your "get out too please" options. 

acetinker's picture

Knucks, you were always a useless POS, but now even your army of greeners has abandoned you.  Fuck off!

Ralph Spoilsport's picture

Another friday night on ZH. Have a red one from the green army.

acetinker's picture

Bunch of fkn educated idiots, you are, Ralph.  Take your PhD's and shove 'em up your ass.  That's about all they're worth now.  Shit has changed.  You and Knucks have failed to realize this.  It ain't my fault, but you will no doubt think it is.

MontgomeryScott's picture

Vote down!


"Knucks, you were always a useless POS, but now even your army of greeners has abandoned you.  Fuck off!"

I am at a loss as to the point of your comment. Last time I looked, the one you speak of had 56 up-arrows (and no down-arrows). At the rate you are going, it won't be too long before someone refers to you as 'Ace Twinker'. Not that I would ever suggest anything so vulgar... ('I want to ride my bicycle, I want to ride my bike,...'. That song was sung by a queer, in a queer band named "Queen", you know).

What were you saying, again, Sally?

acetinker's picture

Guess I can add you to my shit list as well?  Oh wait, you were already there.

Antifaschistische's picture

One could easily advance the notion that this weeks stock market action was actually the result of the White House's senseless trade threats with Russia...and the ensuing uncertainty it adds to our global eco-machine.  Does history really repeat itself?



The Tariff Act of 1930 (codified at 19 U.S.C. ch. 4), otherwise known as the Smoot–Hawley Tariff orHawley–Smoot Tariff,[1] was an act sponsored bySenator Reed Smoot and Representative Willis C. Hawley and signed into law on June 17, 1930, that raised U.S. tariffs on over 20,000 imported goods to record levels.[2]

The dutiable tariff level (this does not include duty-free imports—see Tariff levels below) under the act was the highest in the U.S. in 100 years, exceeded by a small margin by the Tariff of 1828.[3] Some view the Act, and the ensuing retaliatory tariffs by U.S. trading partners, as responsible for reducing American exports and imports by more than half. According to Ben Bernanke, "Economists still agree that Smoot-Hawley and the ensuing tariff wars were highly counterproductive and contributed to the depth and length of the global Depression."[4]

jeff montanye's picture

yes, yes, precisely my thoughts.  what the hell did obama learn at columbia?  did bernanke never mention this to him or his sad one two punch of secretaries of state/pretenders to the throne?  it is hard to get good help these days.

MontgomeryScott's picture


I disagree with your false premis and false conclusion. You are comparing apples to oranges.

Tariffs are TAXES imposed on the importation of goods to a nation, but what Obama is doing is tantamount to a TRADE WAR that cuts off trade of certain goods (along with banking and accounting freezes). If I have to pay a 10 or 15 or 50% tariff on a Russian-made A.K. 47, this would discourage me (in theory) from purchasing it (and the idea is that I should be buying locally-made products like this). If the trade and importation of such is BANNED (as, in fact, it now IS), this is QUITE different in scope; in fact tantamount to a 'trade embargo'.

Smoot-Hawley was a misguided attempt to try to boost industrial output by discouraging importation through the levying of taxes on imports in an attempt to boost local production (and it was hoped, cause companies to re-hire). YES, it backfired and drove the economy down further (by increasing prices of certain goods while the population struggled to keep an income flow, thus exaserbating the Depression). It was not the CAUSE, however (that ship sailed when the FEDRES central banking system put the word out to call the notes).

Obama's actions are nothing like this. NOTHING AT ALL. He's trying to goad the Russians in to war, just like the Roosevelt administration did with it's 'sanctions' against Japan prior to WWII; by CUTTING OFF TRADE AND BANKING (not taxing it). Whoever edited this Wikipedia entry needs to get their head out of their ass regarding the term 'TARIFF WAR'. This is a false term in and of itself.


Antifaschistische's picture

MS...I don't disagree with what you've said.   I wasn't actually making a premise or a conclusion.  I agree with your trade war comments on Obama's action and the war goading from our Nobel Peace Prize winning President.

As a response I would only say that even though Obama's intentions are distinctly different than the intent of Smoot-Hawley, we may, just may, experience some of the same byproducts of Smoot-Hawley legislation as our continents slide toward a tit for tat trade related battle.  A byproduct that may lead to increased uncertainty on the geo-eco-political scale which translates to increase volatility in our domestic markets.

thanks MS....good thoughts.

Kirk2NCC1701's picture

I just GOTTA get me one of these!

MontgomeryScott's picture

'PONZICARD'! Accepted at over 85,000 locations worldwide!

('Ponzicard' is a trademarked name of the revolving credit extended by those who also issue 'MasterCharge' and 'Visa'. See your bank for details. 'Ponzi, LLC. is a member of the 'Interbank System' of Ponzi Worldwide Oligarchs. Some restrictions apply. Interest set at 10% above London Inter-Bank Overnight lending Rates set at the whim of those central banks that choose to participate; and announced daily in 'The City Of London' [god save the Queen, amen, forever and ever]. Some restrictions apply. rates subject to change. Read 10,000 word disclosure agreement after signing up.)

Oldwood's picture

Its almost like they don't respect us anymore.

813kml's picture

I'm not sure that one finger constitutes a wave.

El Vaquero's picture

I don't respect us anymore.

BeanusCountus's picture

I dont either. Im going to get one of those cards.

toady's picture

And that's the scary part.

If it's really this easy for the rest of the world to tell the U.S. to fuck off, soon all that will be left is letting the ICBMs fly.

Manthong's picture

"Leave home without it."

Kirk2NCC1701's picture

"For everything else, there's UnionPay."

Tinky's picture

"It's everywhere you want to be...except Russia."

Angry Plant's picture

in some ways it is more secure than Visa - at least the Americans can't reach it.


Oh this sounds like a callenge aimed directly at the NSA.

fervent in spirit's picture

It's aimed at all that's wrong with America today - much more than just the NSA.

Nick Jihad's picture

Hasn't the CFPB, which operates out of the Fed, been demanding that Visa and MC provide them with records on all credit card purchases?  And you just know that the IRS, FBI, DEA and ATF are getting all of that data too. This Union Pay card sounds very interesting.

philipat's picture

".......For everything else, there's Union Pay"

Conveniently denominated in RMB.


PSYCHOCHICKEN Kiss-ka say fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck

fuck fuck PsychoKILLER run run run away to anwhere but the USA.

Fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck!

MontgomeryScott's picture


If you are going to try tweaking the words to a song, you need to at least spend the time finding and sending a link to it. Otherwise, the people will simply 'downarrow' your contribution (most were probably born after 1977, by the way, and can't possibly understand the reference). This is especially important when referring to a song that was wildly popular within a small minority of people (such as the newly-forming 'punk rock' movement in the late '70's CONUS), but mostly unknown to the general masses at the time.

Perhaps all the down-arrows are also due to the fact that you chose to use the word 'fuck' 20 times. Next time, try throwing in 'pussy' or 'cock' or 'asshole' or 'fuckstick' or 'cockpit' or SOMETHING.

Here's a link to the song (for the child's benefit):

After Jules Verne's novel '20,000 Leagues Under The Sea' became popular (I think this was about 1886 or so), he wrote another; lesser-known book; entitled 'Master Of The World'. His writing style was almost infantile (I read and absorbed everything he wrote by the time I entered the 5th grade).



q99x2's picture

The oligarchs are going after oligarchs and war is not a real option. So what are they going to do except start attacking each other. Like to see at least two bankers jump in the upcoming week.

slightlyskeptical's picture

When only the ogliarchs have money, only the ogliarchs can be stolen from. It wa sinevitable.

jeff montanye's picture

i like sinevitable: said of unavoidable chinese hegemony.

MontgomeryScott's picture



The band 'CHARLIE' did this song, back in 'way-back machine' time.

The love of money is the root of all types of evil. The Chinese so-called 'RULERS' traded with the British East India Company, and all that happened was the rise of the Opium Trade; and the infamous 'Opium Dens' of the late 19th century. They currently sit on one of the largest stockpiles of PAPER PROMISSORY NOTES ever amassed in the history of the modern world, and they have no idea what to do as these 'asset values' go in to DECLINE. The 'CHINESE HEDGEMONY' of which you speak will turn out to be the 'PAPER TIGER' that they so revile themselves. The signs are already appearing, and have been for the past decade.

Well, I talked about a song, so I guess I have to link it.

'It's Inevitable' ('CHARLIE'):



Tarshatha's picture

"Like to see at least two bankers jump in the upcoming week"


Ahhhh, "hopeium"

RaceToTheBottom's picture

I want to see more Bankster suicide, knock on effects:

One Bankster pulling a few others off the ledge when jumping, or

One bankster landing on a few others after falling 50 stories....

MontgomeryScott's picture

"Like to see at least two bankers jump in the upcoming week."





It's 'The Big Flush' and they're on the rim, beginning to swirl. The heavier 'assets' go down first, and the paper used to wipe them clean goes next; down in to the vortex. The bankster mayflies are attracted to this shit, you know, and MIGHT just get caught up in the hyper-acceleration gravity-well before the tank runs out of water and the bowl stops swirling. It's just a wet-dream of mine, I suppose, though. Like the swarm of flies in the outhouse, there's never enough water to take them all down.


(This post is an obvious attempt to bring in to discussion the avatar picture of 'q99x2', whose placement of two light blue oval shapes obviously represent a toilet. While I fully agree with his sentiments, it in no way promotes the self-killing of the fucking scumbags of the Earth. Hanging and lethal injection and firing squads are much more appropriate; after being found guilty of mass genocide and other high crimes by a jury of their peers who do NOT include other bankster oligarchs.)


Atomizer's picture

Master Card Ad...Priceless

Bwhahahahaaha. Oldie but relevant.

ToNYC's picture

"If it weren't for Unintended Consequences, I'd have no Consequences at All."