Cisco quits Moscow

Networking titan to shutter Russia and Belarus presence, after previously stopping operations

Cisco has decided it's time to leave Russia and Belarus, almost four months after stopping operations in response to Russia's illegal invasion of Ukraine.

The networking giant announced it would halt operations in Russia and Belarus "for the foreseeable future" on March 3 this year.

A June 23 update suggests Cisco sees no future in either nation.

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"We have now made the decision to begin an orderly wind-down of our business in Russia and Belarus," the statement reads.

The company also promises to "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."

A spokesperson told The Register the company "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."

The Register asked if the decision means Cisco's cloud-hosted products won't be available within Russia and Belarus, if remote support services will also be impacted, and if Russian users will be denied access to other online tools like software downloads.

Cisco told us it has nothing more to say beyond its published remarks.

Cisco has already told investors that its earlier decision to stop operations in Russia cost it $200 million in Q3 alone. Quitting the country entirely will add up to real pain: Cisco's annual revenue run rate to April 30, 2022, was $51.6 billion. If we assume quitting Russia costs $800 million a year, Cisco is surrendering about 1.6 percent of annual revenue – but avoiding regulatory blowback and perhaps gaining the respect of many.

Cisco's actions might appear a little late, but the company is not the only major tech player to have escalated its response to the illegal invasion. Microsoft, for example, this week geo-blocked Russia from the section of its website dedicated to installation of Windows 10 and 11. ®

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