|Debit Cards to Fund Russian Opposition Group|
|by Tom McGregor||Wed, Jul 11, 2012, 09:18 PM|
Political parties usually receive their funding from voluntary donations from its supporters. However in Russia, a political opposition group would gets its donations from debit card transaction fees that may soon be sponsored by Visa and Mastercard.
The Moscow Times reports that, “billionaire Alexander Lebedev said Wednesday that his National Reserve Bank will be the financial institution to release a debit card giving a percentage of all transaction to opposition leader Alexei Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Fund.”
The announcement discloses a partnership between Lebedev, whose business empire includes media holdings in Russia and Great Britain, along with a high-profile activist who was jailed for 15 days after a violent street rally on May 6.
According to the Moscow Times, “last month, Lebedev successfully nominated Navalny to the board of Aeroflot, the national carrier, of which he owns 15 percent. The final step in the process of making the bank card available to customers is the agreement of Visa and Mastercard, Lebedev told Izvestia on Wednesday.”
Vladimir Ashukov, director of Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Fund, hopes to raise $300,000 annually through debit card transaction fees.
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