× Business BUSINESS MOTORING SHIPPING & LOGISTICS DR PESA FINANCIAL STANDARD Digital News Videos Health & Science Lifestyle Opinion Education Columnists Moi Cabinets Arts & Culture Fact Check Podcasts E-Paper Lifestyle & Entertainment Nairobian Entertainment Eve Woman Travelog TV Stations KTN Home KTN News BTV KTN Farmers TV Radio Stations Radio Maisha Spice FM Vybez Radio Enterprise VAS E-Learning Digger Classified Jobs Games Crosswords Sudoku The Standard Group Corporate Contact Us Rate Card Vacancies DCX O.M Portal Corporate Email RMS

Russian tourists in Indonesia without cash as sanctions bite

By Reuters | Mar 10th 2022 | 2 min read
By Reuters | March 10th 2022

Visitors are seen inside a cafe frequently visited by the Russians in Badung regency, Bali, Indonesia, on March 8, 2022. [Reuters]

When Russian tourist Konstantin Ivanov tried to withdraw money from his home bank account at a cash machine on the Indonesian resort island of Bali, the transaction was blocked.

Unprecedented sanctions against Russia's banks over its invasion of Ukraine are taking a toll on its citizens overseas, who have been left scrambling to find cash or turn to crypto transactions to get by.

"This has created a huge problem for us. We have been left completely stripped of our finances - it's like they have been completely frozen and we cannot use them at all over here," said Ivanov, 27, adding that he might have to look for a job in Indonesia.

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

About 1,150 Russians entered Indonesia in January 2022, according to data from the statistics bureau.

Rifki Saldi Yanto, the manager of a local cafe, said he had noticed a decline in Russian customers in recent days and many now pay with cash instead of a credit card.

Russia's embassy in Jakarta said it was providing information and assistance to any citizen who faced problems.

Denis Tetiushin, an embassy spokesperson, said Russia's Pochta Bank was now offering a virtual card using China's UnionPay system instead of Visa or Mastercard.

"It's free of charge and people may open it wherever they are," he said in a text message.

Meanwhile, more than 7,000 Russians were stranded in Thailand, another popular beach destination because of flight cancellations, a rouble currency in free-fall and payment issues. L3N2VB1KZ

Russia's economy is facing its gravest crisis since the 1991 fall of the Soviet Union after western countries moved in recent days to isolate it from the global financial system. The international payments system SWIFT has disconnected several Russian banks from its network, while Visa and Mastercard said they were blocking overseas use of their cards issued by Russian banks from March 9.

Share this story
Eveready reappoints seasoned directors
Eveready East Africa has reappointed two non-executive directors following resolutions of the annual general meeting held virtually on March 4.
Banks’ reserve cash at Central Bank hits a record Sh268 billion
Money that banks sets aside to cushion themselves against a run by depositors rose to a record Sh268.1 billion in December.