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Red Hat and SUSE latest to suspend sales in Russia

Both companies say they're doing everything they can to support associates affected by Ukraine war

Red Hat has joined the growing list of tech companies to withdraw from Russia over the war in Ukraine, stopping sales just a day after Linux rival SUSE announced a similar move.

The IBM-owned open source business says it is discontinuing sales and services in Russia and Belarus, effective immediately. This withdrawal of service applies to organizations either located or headquartered in Russia or Belarus. Red Hat also said it is also ending partner relationships with organizations based or headquartered in the two countries.

Red Hat president and CEO Paul Cormier confirmed the move in a blog post, where he condemned the Russian military's invasion of Ukraine and said the company stands in unity with everyone affected by the violence.

"We add our voices to those calling for peace and will continue to work to enable the safety of our impacted associates and their families in any way we can," Cormier said.

The latter is important because Red Hat has associates that live and work in Ukraine and Russia, and the company said that their safety, security, and wellbeing remains a top priority.

"We have helped Red Hatters in Ukraine and their families (including spouses, children and family members) move safely to nearby countries and continue to help those who remain in the country in any way possible," Cormier stated, adding: "We are also supporting our associates in Russia."

SUSE has also moved to cut ties with Russia and support staff affected by the conflict. CEO Melissa Di Donato said that SUSE is doing everything it can to support employees who have family members in Ukraine, and that all employees and their households have access to SUSEAssist, its staff support program.

"Alongside these efforts, we are observing all economic sanctions. In line with these sanctions, we are evaluating all of our business relationships in Russia and have suspended all direct sales in Russia. We are also prepared to comply with additional sanctions which may be implemented," she stated on the SUSE blog.

SUSE and Red Hat join a wave of tech companies terminating their business with Russia following the invasion of Ukraine, including Oracle and SAP, as well as Microsoft, plus tech consultancies such as PMG, PwC, Accenture, and DXC.

However, things are not always so clear-cut. Despite ending new sales, some of these companies – such as SAP, Microsoft, and Oracle – may be continuing to provide support to Russian organizations that are already running their software. SAP confirmed it is "continuing to serve our existing customers within the scope of our contractual commitments and as far as sanctions and export control restrictions permit". We asked Microsoft and Oracle to clarify their positions some days ago and are still waiting to heart from them.

Russia, meanwhile, is considering handing out licenses to use foreign software and legalising software copyright violations in response to the boycott as well as scrambling to find technical workarounds using available resources, including in its HPC sector. ®

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