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

Payments company PayPal Holdings Inc shut down its services early on Saturday in Russia, citing "the current circumstances," joining many financial and tech companies in suspending operations there after the invasion of Ukraine.


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.”


A company spokesperson said PayPal will support withdrawals "for a period of time, ensuring that account balances are dispersed in line with applicable laws and regulations.”


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.”


PayPal said on Friday that "since the beginning of the invasion, PayPal has helped raise over $150 million for charities supporting response efforts in Ukraine, one of the largest efforts we've seen in such a short period of time.”


PayPal's suspension in Russia also applies to its money transfer tool Xoom. Rivals Wise and Remitly earlier suspended some services in Russia.


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.

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