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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 Microsoft’s 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

Friday, Oct. 24


SPIBA’s ongoing “Breakfast with the Director” series continues today, featuring Tomas Hajek, Managing Director of the Northwest Division at Danone Russia. Hajek will be discussing collaborations between businesses from different cultures. The meeting is at 9 a.m. at the Domina Prestige St. Petersburg hotel and all who wish to attend must confirm their participation by Oct. 23.


Get your gong on at “Sounds of the Universe,” a concert at the city planetarium this evening incorporating six different gongs to create relaxing songs that will transport you upwards into the stratosphere. Tickets are 700 rubles ($17).



Saturday, Oct. 25


AVA Expo, the eighth edition of the event revolving around all things pop culture, returns to Lenexpo this weekend. Geeks, nerds, dweebs and dorks will have their chance to talk science fiction and explore a variety of international pop culture. Tickets for the event can be purchased on their website at avaexpo.ru.



Sunday, Oct. 26


Zenit St. Petersburg returns home for the first time in nearly a month as they host Mordovia Saransk in a Russian Premier League game. Currently at the top of the league thanks to their undefeated start to the season, the northern club hopes to extend the gap between them and second-place CSKA Moscow and win the title for the first time in three years. Tickets are available at the stadium box office or on the club’s website.



Monday, Oct. 27


Today marks the end of the art exhibit “Neophobia” at the Erarta Museum. Artists Alexey Semichov and Andrei Kuzmin took a neo-modernist approach to represent the array of fears that are ever-present throughout our lives. Tickets are 200 rubles ($4.90).



Tuesday, Oct. 28


The Domina Prestige St. Petersburg hotel plays host to SPIBA’s Marketing and Communications Committee’s round table discussion on “Government Relations Practices in Russia” this morning. The discussion starts at 9:30 a.m. and participation must be confirmed by Oct. 24.



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