Tech News : Microsoft Halts Sales In Russia

9th March 2022

In response to the invasion of Ukraine, Microsoft has suspended all new sales of Microsoft products and services in Russia.

Other Aspects Of Its Business Too  

Microsoft has described how it has been “horrified, angered and saddened” by the “unjustified, unprovoked and unlawful invasion by Russia” which has led to its decision to suspend sales to Russia.

In addition to this, Microsoft has explained how, working with the governments of the United States, EU, and the UK, it is also stopping many other aspects of its business in Russia in compliance with governmental sanctions decisions.

Focusing On Helping Ukraine  

Microsoft has described how its “single most impactful area of work” is now the protection of Ukraine’s cybersecurity following recent Russian attacks, including a cyberattack against a major Ukrainian broadcaster. The software giant has highlighted how, since the war began, it has acted against Russian attacks on more than 20 Ukrainian government, IT, and financial sector organisations, and against cyberattacks targeting several civilian sites. Microsoft also says that it has now publicly raised its concerns that the attacks against civilians violate the Geneva Convention.

Helping Refugees  

As part of this focus on helping Ukraine, Microsoft says that it is also using its resources to help the country’s people by putting its Microsoft Philanthropies and UN Affairs teams to work alongside the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and multiple UN agencies to help refugees. Also, Microsoft says that it will be providing technological and financial support for key NGOs (non-governmental / non-profit organisations) where needed, while defending these groups from ongoing cyberattacks.

Many Big Names Now Suspending Sales In Russia  

Microsoft joins many big-name corporations who have now suspended operations in Russia. The list, so far, includes Apple, Dell, H&M, IKEA, Marks & Spencer, the credit companies Visa and MasterCard, large fuel/energy companies like BP and Shell (exiting its joint ventures with Gazprom), ExxonMobil, Eni, and Siemens Energy. The conflict has also seen the suspension of operations in Russia for well-known vehicle manufacturers including Honda Motor Co. (shipments), Daimler Truck, Volvo, Ford, Mazda, Jaguar, Land Rover, Aston Martin, and Harley-Davidson (deliveries suspended).

What Does This Mean For Your Businesses?  

As well as governments, the business world in the west appears to have united behind the people of Ukraine by imposing their own commercial sanctions i.e., ceasing operations in Russia. It is hoped that combined sanctions of governments and corporations from many different sectors and countries will help to apply some serious pressure that will send a clear signal of a unified opposition and, hopefully, lead to negotiations that could halt a full invasion of Ukraine and the further suffering of its citizens. For those much smaller businesses who are more reliant upon trade with Russia, however, there are likely to be some tough times and tough decisions ahead. It is still relatively early days, and although sanctions have caused some serious effects on the Russian currency and the normal lives of its citizens, and while the country is looking increasingly isolated, Russia is still receiving $700 million per day from the US and its allies for oil, gas, and commodities. Unless this income stream is disrupted, which will have consequences in the west, Putin’s government look likely to press on with its war agenda.