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A group of seven Democratic lawmakers — like Bronx Rep. Ritchie Torres — are demanding Mastercard and Visa suspend all enterprise functions in pro-Kremlin Belarus, which Russian troops have been working with as a staging floor in their brutal war on Ukraine.

Torres — alongside with Reps. Steve Cohen, Bonnie Watson Coleman, Jake Auchincloss, Jim Costa and Andre Carson — despatched a letter to the CEOs of the credit history card giants Wednesday and blasted them for their complicity in the war.

“Belarus’s job in Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is clear,” the letter, exclusively received by the Submit, said. “American and Ukrainian officers assert that Belarus’s leadership has authorized Belarus to serve as one particular of the staging grounds for Russia’s navy marketing campaign in Ukraine. Furthermore, hurt Russian troops have been evacuated to Belarusian hospitals. Belarus is as a lot at fault as Russia in this war.”

Mastercard and Visa, like lots of other big organizations, suspended business functions with Russia in early March — but the two have nevertheless to get motion versus Belarus, whose dictator Alexander Lukashenko is identified for becoming a bootlicker to Russian President Vladimir Putin. 

Bronx Rep. Ritchie Torres was one of the signers of the letter.
Bronx Rep. Ritchie Torres was one of the signers of the letter.
Robert Miller
Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko is considered a close ally to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko is considered a near ally to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
EPA/MIKHAIL KLIMENTYEV / KREMLIN POOL / SPUTNIK

“This is a very good very first move, but we imagine additional need to be carried out,” wrote the pols, who are requesting a official reaction from both organizations by April 20. “We would be aware that on March 6th American Categorical declared that they would suspend operations in Russia and Belarus.”

Previously this thirty day period, the Home of Reps just about unanimously passed laws to revoke normal trade relations with Russia and Belarus. The lawmakers insisted in their letter that “the non-public sector can also engage in a major function in addressing poor actors’ part in this unjustified war.”

The U.S. also renewed sanctions in opposition to Lukashenko and expanded them to contain his household. Secretary of Condition Antony Blinken has blasted the Japanese European strongman’s “support and facilitation of the Russian Federation’s invasion.”

Both Visa and Mastercard suspended business in Russia, but not Belarus.
The two Visa and Mastercard suspended business enterprise in Russia, but not Belarus.
Getty Pictures

“The unprovoked and unjust invasion of Ukraine by Russia is amongst the gravest global crises in new record,” the letter claimed. “We believe and strongly urge you to take into consideration suspending your products and services in Belarus.”

Visa and Mastercard did not right away reply to the Post’s ask for for remark.

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