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SAP To Make ‘Structured Withdrawal From Russia’: Report

‘We are examining how we can make a structured withdrawal from Russia,’ says SAP Chairman Hasso Plattner in an interview with Germany-based media outlet.

Software giant SAP is seeking to close its Russian business roughly two months after President Vladimir Putin began his country’s invasion of neighboring Ukraine, according to a media report.

“We are examining how we can make a structured withdrawal from Russia,” said Hasso Plattner, chairman and co-founder of SAP, in an interview with the Germany-based media outlet Handelsblatt published today. “At the same time, we have a duty to provide for our 1,300 employees in Russia.”

Although SAP has already halted its sales and cloud services in Russia, the company is still providing technical support to existing Russian customers who are able to still access SAP, along with having employees working inside the country.

Last month, Germany-based SAP closed down its cloud services in Russia. The company said it was “stopping all sales and shutting down cloud operations” in the country, which invaded Ukraine in late February.

[Related: Microsoft Stops Russia-Connected Cyberattacks On Ukraine, US, EU]

However, Plattner said SAP will take another step against Russia with its structured withdrawal.

“The attack by Russia on the Western world is absolutely terrifying. By the way, it’s not Putin alone. Quite a large part of the Russian people seems to support him,” Plattner told Handelsblatt, which was then reported by Reuters.

SAP did not respond to CRN for comment on the matter by press time.

Many of the world’s largest technology providers have stopped doing business in Russia and have halted providing IT services to the country.

Last week, Intel suspended all operations in Russia and Belarus.

“Intel continues to join the global community in condemning Russia’s war against Ukraine and calling for a swift return to peace,” Intel said in a statement. “Effective immediately, we have suspended all business operations in Russia. This follows our earlier decision to suspend all shipments to customers in Russia and Belarus.”

In a March 2 blog, SAP CEO Christian Klein wrote that economic sanctions against Russia are an important mechanism in the efforts to restore peace. “We are in constant exchange with governments around the world, have every confidence in their guidance, and fully support the actions taken so far,” Klein wrote.

Since March, SAP has been using its technology to help multi-national aid organizations address the humanitarian and refugee crisis in for Ukraine citizens, including ensuring that aid groups and healthcare workers can get supplies.

“On March 9, we enabled suppliers on SAP Business Network to declare their readiness to provide humanitarian aid; some 1,500 have already done so. We’re also helping the Ukrainian government order supplies for hospitals so that they can get urgently needed equipment as quickly and easily as possible,” SAP said in a statement last month.

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