Microsoft has announced that it is suspending all new sales of products and services in Russia, in response to the country’s invasion of Ukraine that began February 24. Company president Brad Smith says Microsoft is also working with governments in Ukraine, the UK, the US, and the European Union to comply with sanctions on Russia and to help maintain Ukraine’s cybersecurity.
“Like the rest of the world, we are horrified, angered, and saddened by the images and news coming from the war in Ukraine, and condemn this unjustified, unprovoked, and unlawful invasion by Russia,” Smith writes in a post to the Microsoft blog dated March 4.
Smith says Microsoft will “suspend all new sales of Microsoft products and services in Russia,” and that Microsoft has “acted against Russian positioning, destructive or disruptive measures against more than 20 Ukrainian government, IT, and financial sector organisations” since the war began. “We have also acted against cyberattacks targeting several additional civilian sites,” Smith says. “We have publicly raised our concerns that these attacks against civilians violate the Geneva Convention.”
In addition to suspending all sales in Russia, Smith says Microsoft plans to continue its work in protecting cybersecurity in Ukraine from malware and hacking attempts that are suspected to be part of Russia’s invasion strategy.
Microsoft’s announcement follows a call from Ukranian vice prime minister Mykhailo Fedorov, asking game developers and publishers around the world to block Russian accounts in the hopes that cutting players off from games will fuel pressure on the Russian government to abandon its invasion.
“Like so many others, we stand with Ukraine in calling for the restoration of peace, respect for Ukraine’s sovereignty and the protection of its people,” Smith writes.