The Visa international payment system has banned banks from issuing and servicing its plastic cards in the Crimea, the company said in a statement cited by the Interfax news agency.

The United States banned American companies from providing services in the Crimea on 19 December as part of its latest round of sanctions. United States President Barack Obama’s decree "bans Visa International Service Association, Visa USA Inc. and Visa Inc. from providing services and also carrying out direct or indirect transactions in the Crimea,” Visa said in a statement to

Complaints about inability to withdraw cash from Visa cards issued by Sberbank and several other banks have appeared in Crimean forums.

As reported, Ukraine canceled bus and rail links with the Crimea on 26 December.