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Cisco Systems To Abandon Russia, Belarus Over Ukraine War

David Harris

Cisco says it 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.’

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Cisco Systems said Thursday it’s starting to wind down its business operations in Russia and Belarus nearly four months after the networking giant said it was stopping business there for “the foreseeable future” over Russia’s invasion of neighboring Ukraine.

“We have now made the decision to begin an orderly wind-down of our business in Russia and Belarus,” the networking giant said in a statement posted on its website. “We are focused on ensuring impacted employees in Russia and Belarus are treated with respect and have our support through this transition. Cisco 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.”

Cisco also said it 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.”

[RELATED STORY: Google Russia Files For Bankruptcy After Russia Freezes Bank Account]

Kent MacDonald, senior vice president of strategic alliances at solution provider Long View Systems, an Alberta, Canada-based Cisco Gold partner, applauded Cisco’s latest move.

“Cisco’s statement to Russia with its withdrawal makes me proud to be a Cisco partner,” he told CRN.

The San Jose, Calif.-based firm, with a market cap of $177 billion, said in March that it would stop all business operations, including sales and services, in Russia.

Cisco said at the time that it was enabling auto-renewals on any software or services for Ukrainian customers at no charge, as well as offering one free year of Webex meetings. The company was also providing free calls to Ukraine in support of customers and partners in the country.

In addition, Cisco said it was stepping up security to help protect organizations in Ukraine from cyberattacks, safeguard the privacy of institutions in Ukraine and the region, and to help the Ukrainian government secure its infrastructure. The firm also established a Ukraine Humanitarian Assistance Fund open to employee contributions and was working with non-profit partners to leverage Cisco equipment and support those who have fled the country and relocated.

Learn More: Network Security
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