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Cisco to exit Russia, Belarus in business wind-down

The tech giant is the latest to leave the region altogether as Russia continues its invasion of Ukraine

A Cisco sign on a street corner next to a red traffic light

Cisco has announced that it will withdraw from Russia and Belarus permanently, after suspending business activities and services in the countries in March following the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

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Many major tech companies have done the same, with Microsoft, Amazon, Apple, IBM, and Intel just some companies from a long list that have protested the war by suspending their services. As the war has raged on, any idea of resuming services has become increasingly unlikely.

The multinational tech conglomerate has now joined IBM in fully exiting the region, while Microsoft is scaling down operations, as reported by Bloomberg.

The decision comes as Russia advances a new law, allowing it to seize companies owned by “unfriendly” countries. There are concerns that unless western companies remove themselves from Russia before the law is enforced, the task could become much more difficult and expensive to undertake later.

At the outbreak of the war, Cisco expressed support for the people of Ukraine, stating that the Cisco Talos Intelligence Group would assist in the collection of public intelligence and to protect critical systems throughout the country.

“We have now made the decision to begin an orderly wind-down of our business in Russia and Belarus,” the company said on their website.

“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.”

Reuters reported that Cisco employees within these countries have been offered relocation options, although it's currently unclear where staff will be moved to. IT Pro has contacted Cisco for clarification.

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