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Russia to reduce deposit payments for Mastercard, Visa

MOSCOW, June 18 (Reuters) - Russia will reduce the size of deposit payments required for Mastercard and Visa to operate in the country, First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov said on Wednesday.

New rules imposed on foreign card companies following Western sanctions over Ukraine required the payment operators to pay a hefty security deposit to the central bank.

Both companies considered quitting Russia after President Vladimir Putin signed the rules into law in early May, but said they would stay after officials showed a willingness to relax the requirements. Visa declined comment. Mastercard could not immediately be reached for comment.

(Reporting by Daria Korsunskaya and Alexander Winning, writing by Megan Davies, editing by Elizabeth Piper)