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PayPal pauses service in Russia, citing ‘violent military aggression’

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The company stopped accepting new Russian users earlier this week

Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

PayPal is suspending its services in Russia in response to the country’s “violent military aggression in Ukraine,” according to a report from Reuters. Ukraine’s vice prime minister Mykhailo Fedorov tweeted out a letter from PayPal CEO Dan Schulman, confirming the company’s decision to shut down its operations in Russia.

“Under the current circumstances, we are suspending PayPal services in Russia,” Shulman says in the letter. “We are also doing all that we can to support our staff in the region during this deeply difficult time.”

As Reuters notes, PayPal had been available in Russia for cross-border payments only. It stopped accepting new Russian users earlier this week but has now made the sweeping decision to halt its services altogether — a measure that also includes the PayPal-owned money transfer service, Xoom. PayPal spokesperson Aidan Kelly told The Verge that PayPal will still “continue work to process customer withdraws for a period of time, ensuring that account balances are dispersed in line with applicable laws and regulations.”

With the financial sanctions put in place by the US, UK, European Union, and many others, some Russian users may not have been able to use their bank cards to make payments through PayPal regardless. The sanctions have already cut off some users from Apple Pay and Google Pay, as they target Russia’s largest financial institutions, barring bank customers from making card payments to businesses and services registered in countries that imposed sanctions.

Update March 5th 1:36PM ET: Updated to add a statement from a PayPal spokesperson.