From the earliest days of the conflict, one of the West’s reactions to the Russian army’s invasion of Ukraine has seen the tech giants deployed. Which, in unison with the governments of the United States and the European Union, immediately removed their services and products from Moscow.
Of course, not all companies have acted with the same diligence and determination.
Microsoft, Russia and Zelensky’s intervention
Microsoft, for example, would only have decided to suspend the sale of products and services in Russia at the beginning of March. But evidently the operation was not completed in full, if a few days later even Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky bothered. That in a tweet he asked for a less compromising attitude to the colossus based in Redmond.
At first, in fact, Microsoft had decided to stop only the sale of new products in Moscow. But without withdrawing those already present on the Russian market.
Zelensky, for his part, had written on Twitter: “There can be no half decisions or half tones. There is only black and white, good or bad. Either you are for peace or you support the bloodthirsty Russian aggressor who is killing Ukrainian children and women. Microsoft, Oracle, SAP, stop supporting your products in Russia, stop the war. “
Microsoft closes offices in Russia
It appears that now, several weeks later, Microsoft has further cut its presence in Russia.
This is what Bloomberg reports in an article published on Wednesday 8 June. The gap now takes up not so much products and services as offices, in a move that should leave around 400 company employees at home.
400 employees at home
The choice is to align with the many companies of various sectors (there are now several hundred) that have already significantly reduced, if not completely canceled, their presence in Russia.
Think for example of Apple, Dell, Nike and Adidas, which have stopped sales.
A Microsoft spokesperson confirmed to Bloomberg the staff reduction of about 400 people. Those fired, however, will enjoy the full support of the company. “We are working closely with relevant employees to ensure they are treated with respect and have our full support during this difficult time.”
The spokesperson then explained: “Microsoft has made the decision to significantly reduce operations in Russia, continuing to fulfill existing contractual obligations with Russian customers while the suspension of new sales remains in effect.”
IBM come Microsoft
A similar move was made by IBM. The IT company announced in March that it had decided to suspend commercial operations in Russia.
Ma the tangible signal of IBM’s sanctioning attitude towards Moscow only arrived on Tuesday 7 June. And with an even more radical decision than Microsoft’s: the company will leave the country, and 1000 people from offices and factories will lose their jobs.
In a note, IBM CEO Arvind Krishna wrote: “As the consequences of the war continue to grow and the uncertainty about its long-term repercussions grows, we have now decided to proceed with an orderly liquidation of IBM’s business in Russia. .
This process will begin today and will result in the separation of our local workforce. Our colleagues in Russia, through no fault of their own, endured months of stress and uncertainty. […] I would also like to thank IBMers everywhere once again for everything that has been done to help our company, customers and communities overcome this crisis. “
It is therefore a succession of companies from different sectors that are leaving Russia. In recent weeks it has been the turn of McDonald’s, Kfc, Starbucks and Pizza Hut.
However Vladimir Putin even seems to welcome this attitude of Western companies with relief.
In a video link with the presidents of the former Soviet states, Putin explained how the gaps left by the big brands of Europe and the US will be filled by national companies. He said the Russian president: “Sometimes, when we look at those who leave – thank God, perhaps? – We will occupy their niches. Our business and our production have already grown and will sit safely on the ground prepared by our partners ”.