Cisco is the latest tech company to pull out of Russia and Belarus

4 days ago

Image: © Tobias Arhelger/Stock.adobe.com

After suspending its business in March, Cisco now joins companies such as IBM in exiting Russia.

Cisco has become the latest international technology company to start winding down its business in Russia and Belarus.

The Silicon Valley-based network hardware and telecoms equipment provider stopped all its business, including sales and services, in Russia and Belarus in March – immediately after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Yesterday (23 June), Cisco confirmed that it will be following other global tech companies in completely pulling out of the two countries.

It comes as Russia looks to introduce a new law that would allow Moscow to seize the assets of foreign companies that decide to leave the country.

“We have now made the decision to begin an orderly wind-down of our business in Russia and Belarus. We are focused on ensuring impacted employees in Russia and Belarus are treated with respect and have our support through this transition,” the company wrote in a statement.

“Cisco remains committed to using all its resources to help our employees, the institutions and people of Ukraine, and our customers and partners during this challenging time.”

Cisco also said that it is in close contact with its employees in Ukraine, where it is offering temporary relocation, allowances for unexpected expenses and emergency time off to those affected.

“We will communicate directly with customers, partners and vendors to settle our financial matters, including refunding prepaid service and software arrangements, to the extent permissible under applicable laws and regulations,” it added.

This exit follows the wind down of IBM in Russia, announced earlier this month, when the company said it had started laying off staff. IBM is a competitor of Cisco in the tech space in Russia, and the exit of these companies could spell bad news for Russian businesses in the short term.

Microsoft also began significantly scaling down its business in Russia earlier this month, three months after the tech giant joined companies such as Apple and SAP in suspending sales in the country.

Reuters reports that Cisco is part of a growing group of businesses getting out of Russia ahead of the new law, expected to be passed within weeks, which will see Russian administrators appointed over exiting companies from countries deemed ‘unfriendly’ by Moscow.

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Vish Gain is a journalist with Silicon Republic

editorial@siliconrepublic.com