Russian tourists without cash in Indonesia due to sanctions and others stranded in Thailand

Kuta, Indonesia (Reuters) – When Russian citizen Konstantin Ivanov tried to withdraw money from his bank account at an ATM on the Indonesian resort island of Bali, the deal was blocked.

The unprecedented sanctions imposed on Russian banks due to the invasion of Ukraine have affected its citizens abroad, who have been forced to search for cash or resort to digital currency transactions to continue vacationing or return home.

“This created a huge problem for us. They left us completely empty of our finances, as if they were completely frozen and we can’t use them at all here”Ivanov, 27, said he may have to look for a job in Indonesia.

The Russian embassy in the capital, Jakarta, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Bali is a popular holiday destination among Russian touristswho flocked to the island in the tens of thousands before the pandemic and were among the first to return when the borders were partially reopened last year.

About 1,150 Russians entered Indonesia in January 2022, according to statistics office data.

Rifki Saldi Yanto, a local coffee shop manager, said he’s noticed a drop in Russian customers in recent days, with many now paying with cash instead of a credit card.

in the meantime, More than 7,000 Russians are stranded in Thailand, another popular beach destination, due to canceled flights, free-falling ruble and payment problems.

The Russian economy is facing its most serious crisis since the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, after Western countries have moved in recent days to… isolated from the global financial system.

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The international payment system SWIFT has disconnected many Russian banks from its network Visa and Mastercard said they have banned their cards from being used abroad Issued by Russian banks as of March 9.

(Reporting by Sultan of Anchori; Additional reporting by Pedja Stanisic and Sunil Kataria; Writing by Anji Teo; Editing in Spanish by Vicente Valdivia and Marion Giraldo)

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