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Reports Say Sanctioned Russian Companies Lose U.S. IT

Published: May 6, 2014 (Issue # 1808)



  • Young men chatting at one of Microsofts offices in Moscow, which may soon halt service to sanctioned firms.
    Photo: Vedomosti

Leading U.S. IT companies Microsoft, Oracle, Hewlett-Packard and others may be cutting off services to Russian banks and companies to comply with Washington's sanctions over Russia's actions in Ukraine, spreading the same political anxiety that the banking sector has experienced in recent months into the Russian IT market.

The multinational tech companies have already joined in the government sanctions against the banks and may completely cease cooperation with them, Gazeta.ru reported, citing anonymous sources in the IT departments of two Russian banks and confirmation from Andrei Chernogorov, executive secretary of the State Duma's commission on strategic information systems.

A Microsoft spokeswoman on Monday declined to comment, while Oracle and Hewlett-Packard did not respond to requests.

A source close to Microsoft's partners told The St. Petersburg Times that the computer giant will halt its services to the 18 companies currently included on the U.S. sanctions list but will continue to work normally with all other Russian clients.

"International companies do not make decisions about whether or not to introduce sanctions and simply cannot avoid them, so they must comply with U.S. and EU legislation," the source said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Of the four sanctioned banks who stand to lose service, Bank Rossiya, SMP Bank and Sobinbank on Monday did not respond to requests for comment. An InvestCapitalBank spokesman said that the bank "has not yet received any written notifications from IT companies."

The companies will still be able to use the software that they currently own, but "all services, and first of all consulting and technical support, will be stopped," said Maxim Andreyev, director of business applications at IT services provider CROC Inc. They will not receive updated versions of the software or corrections to any defects that may be discovered. The risks this loss could produce are low, Andreyev said, "although a lot depends on the specific software producer."

Foreign software occupies about 70 percent of the Russian market, with U.S. software dominating that share, but its penetration of the banking sector is "minimal" with the exception of a few producers, Andreyev added. The largest problem may arise with databases, as Oracle's products "are essentially the standard in the banking sector," he said.

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ALL ABOUT TOWN

Wednesday, Sept. 3


Although the Peter and Paul Fortress sand sculptures are more central and therefore more visible to the throngs of tourists, the 300th Anniversary Park of St. Petersburgs own collection closes today. The World Collection of Sand Sculptures that have been on display at the park reaches its final day, so fans of the classic beach activity should get there while they can.



Thursday, Sept. 4


Vladimir I. Danchenkov, Head of Baltic Customs, will be in attendance during AmChams Customs and Transportation Committee Meeting convening this afternoon at the organizations office near St. Isaacs Square at 3 p.m.



Friday, Sept. 5


Scrabble lovers and chess masters get their chance to assert their intellectual dominance at the return of the British Book Centers Board Game Evenings tonight. Held weekly on Friday nights, the event gives both board game lovers and those hoping to improve their English the chance to meet, greet and compete. Check out the centers VK page for more details.



Saturday, Sept. 6


Athletes will relish the chance to get the latest gear and try out something new at I Choose Sport, an annual event at Lenexpo forum that plans to welcome more than 30,000 people this week to the international exhibition center. Not only will visitors get to try their hand at various athletic endeavors but they will also be able to peruse equipment that can fulfill their dreams of becoming a champion.


Local KHL team SKA St. Petersburg open their season this evening at home against Lokomotiv Yarovslavl at the Ice Palace arena next to the Prospekt Bolshevikov metro station. See their website for a full schedule and available tickets.



Sunday, Sept. 7


Check out retro and antique cars at Fort Konstantin on Kronstadt Island in the Gulf of Finland at FORTuna, a yearly car festival that highlights the eccentricities of the Soviet automobile industry. A car race, contests and a stunt show will give visitors a chance to rev their engines.



Monday, Sept. 8


This evening marks the opening of the two-week ballet festival High Season at the Mikhailovsky Theater. Check the theaters website for more details about performances and featured dancers.



Tuesday, Sept. 9


Discuss the latest news and issues at the AmCham Hazardous Waste Management Roundtable this morning in the Tango Conference Hall of the Sokos Hotel Palace Bridge on Birzhevoy Pereulok. Starting at 9 a.m., planned topics include the Krasny Bor landfill and waste transportation between Russia and Finland.


Learn more about the citys modern architectural trends at the SPIBA Real Estate and Construction Committees meeting on the topic Contemporary Petersburg Style: What is It? Participants will get the chance to discuss whats in-demand with RBI Holdings Irina Petrova and Lubava Pryanikova, and the current state of the local real estate market. Please confirm your attendance by Sept. 5 through SPIBAs website if you wish to attend.



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